Final Expansion at Halfaya Oil Field

By John Lee.

The Head of the Missan Oil Company (MOC) has said that the third and final phase of work to expand the Halfaya oil field has been launched.

Adnan Noshi told Reuters that the target is to double Halfaya’s capacity to 400,000 barrels per day in 2018.

He said Halfaya, operated by PetroChina, is Maysan Oil’s largest field, currently producing 200,000 of the MOC’s total output of 380,000 bpd.

(Source: Reuters)

Iran Khodro ups Capacity at Iraq Plant

By John Lee.

Iran Khodro (IKCO) has said that 2,500 units of its Samand model (pictured) are expected to be produced this year in its Iraq plant.

The site at Iskandariya has been upgraded with new equipment, and now has the capacity to make 45 to 50 cars per day.

(Source: IKCO)

Mercy Corps Conducts First Cash Aid Distribution in Mosul

The global organization Mercy Corps has begun providing civilians in the eastern half of Mosul with cash assistance, the first international aid organization to do so. The government of Iraq estimates that military operations in Mosul have led more than 362,000 people to flee their homes.

As we’ve entered previously inaccessible areas in the city, we’re learning more about the very difficult circumstances under which families are living,” says Su’ad Jarbawi, Iraq Country Director for Mercy Corps.

“Adults are telling us they try to eat less and skip meals so that their children can eat. Most families we’ve spoken to so far say they can’t afford the basics, even food and medical care.”

Mercy Corps surveyed 712 families in east Mosul in March and April, revealing a concerning level of humanitarian need:

  • 89 percent of those surveyed said they weren’t able to meet their most basic needs, namely food, medical care and shelter;
  • 68 percent of adults reported eating less, skipping meals or otherwise restricting consumption due to lack of resources;
  • 64 percent reported that no family members were currently employed;
  • 93 percent reported going into debt to purchase food and other essentials.

Mercy Corps is delivering cash distributions of $400.00 to families in need, and currently expects to reach nearly 4,000 families – approximately 20,000 people – impacted by the crisis in Mosul.

Cash is the quickest and most efficient way to help people because they can buy what they and their families need most,” Jarbawi says. “And an important side benefit to cash is that by spending money, people are supporting the local economy.

Mercy Corps has operated continuously in Iraq since 2003, providing assistance to 5 million Iraqis affected by war, violence and displacement in all 18 governorates. Currently the organization is addressing the needs of people affected by conflict, including refugees from Syria, displaced Iraqi civilians and Iraqi host communities.

(Source: Mercy Corps)

Can Iran stop Iraqi Kurdistan Independence?

By Hamdi Malik for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

As talk of an independence referendum for Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) grows, Iran’s role is becoming more visible, especially that of Qasem Soleimani (pictured), the powerful commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force. But it appears that this role is retreating in the face of Kurdish ambitions for more independence.

Kurdish media outlets reported April 10 that Soleimani had met senior leaders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Sulaimaniyah. Rudaw, a media organization aligned with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), reported April 11 that the goal of the visit was to prevent the KRG from holding an independence referendum.

But it appears that PUK officials were not the only parties to the meeting. Soleimani had discussed the poll with KRG President Massoud Barzani in Erbil. Soleimani is Iran’s top official in Iraq, according to KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. As such, he has had many relationships with Kurdish figures, especially in the PUK and the Kurdish Movement for Change (Gorran), since the 1990s.

Iraqi Kurdish political forces recently have increased their calls for a referendum on Kurdish independence. The leadership of the KDP has said such a poll will be held this year. The KDP and the PUK agreed to set up a joint panel April 2 to decide how the poll would be run and set a date for it.

Iran is against such a step and sees an independent KRG as a red line, something KDP Secretary-General Fadel Mirani dismissed on April 11, saying, “We don’t need permission from anyone to hold a referendum.” But it is impossible to ignore the clout of neighboring states opposed to Kurdish independence. Iran especially enjoys serious influence over the PUK and Gorran in Sulaimaniyah, which is close to the Iranian border.

ONE WHO KNOWS: 10 GCR Points To Remember, 26 APRIL

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DINAR GURUS UPDATE, 26 APRIL

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ADMINBILL UPDATE, 26 APRIL

NEITHER MYSELF NOR SUNNI DAZE HAVE BEEN IN THE ROOM AS MUCH AS WE WOULD LIKE RECENTLY WHICH IS A SHAME BUT I MUST MAKE A LIVING AND THE HOURS HAVE BEEN SOMEWHAT STRANGE.I AM STILL VERTICAL AND SUCKING IN AIR SO THAT MAKES FOR A GOOD DAY. WE HAVE HAD THREE OF OUR NEIGHBORS PASS IN THE LAST MONTH. UNNERVINGI REMAIN ENCOURAGED AT WHERE WE SIT TODAY AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE BEGINNING OF A NEW PATH.