Eni CEO meets Iraqi Oil Minister

The oil minister of Iraq, Jabbar Ali Hussein Luaibi, and the Chief Executive Officer of Eni, Claudio Descalzi (pictured) met in Baghdad on Saturday.

During the meeting Eni’s CEO had the opportunity to outline the Company’s current activities in the country in light of the recent achievements of the Zubair field development, where the production has grown by over 100% since 2015.

The project, carried out by Eni with Basra Oil Company (BOC), has marked the fast track development of one of the largest producing oil fields in the Southern Iraq region of Basra.

Furthermore Claudio Descalzi updated the Minister Luaibi on a new 380 MW power plant which is in the final stages of construction. The plant will generate power for Zubair field and for domestic consumption in Basra Governorate.

Claudio Descalzi and Minister Jabbar discussed additional increase of Zubair production, future opportunities and development investments that would further strengthen Eni’s relationship with the country. Eni’s CEO has in fact confirmed Eni commitment in Upstream sector in Iraq and its support to the country through several initiatives.

Eni’s CEO and the Minister of Oil discussed among other things on the progress of social projects that are currently underway in the Basra Governorate in the areas of healthcare, education, through the construction among other things of one secondary school in Basra for 900 students and refurbishment of existing ones targeting total of 77 schools within the next 4 years, access to energy, through the expansion of the power plant, clean drinking water, through the overhaul of drinking water treatment plants, and new initiatives in agriculture sector which will allow creation of jobs and the development of local economy.

Finally, Eni’s CEO highlighted potential synergies related to energy projects in Iraq, a strategic lever for the Country in maximizing its use of national natural resources through project integration within the entire energy chain and double country oil production within limited time.

Eni has been present in Iraq since 2009, where it operates through its subsidiary Eni Iraq B.V., and with the ramp up of the Zubair Field Development Project (Eni 41.56%, Kogas 23.75%, BOC 29.69%, Missan 5%) the Company has become one of Iraq’s main operators in the oil sector. Eni currently operates 475,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Iraq.

(Source: ENI)

Umm Qasr Port receives its Largest Container Ship to date

By John Lee.

The largest container vessel to dock at the Port of Umm Qasr has recently arrived at the Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT).

According to Container Management Magazine, Evergreen’s 5,652 teu-capacity Ever Useful, with a length of 285 m, beam of 40 m and a weight of 69,246 tonnes, called at Berth 27 at the end of August.

The magazine quotes BGT’s chief executive officer Phillip Marsham as saying:

“The call of the Ever Useful … clearly demonstrates the growing confidence of container lines in the economy of Iraq and the associated container trade growth.”

Situated in Umm Qasr, 50 km from Basra and 500km from Baghdad, BGT is operated by International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI).

(Source: Container Management Magazine)

Coalition Strikes Target ISIS Terrorists

The coalition and its partners continued to strike Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets in designated parts of Syria and Iraq between Sept. 3-9, conducting 16 strikes consisting of 22 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported on Monday.

Operation Roundup, which began May 1 to accelerate the defeat of ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region, has continued to gain ground and remove terrorists from the battlefield through offensive operations coupled with precision coalition strike support, officials said.

Strikes in Syria

On Sept. 9 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS staging area and an ISIS command-and-control center.

On Sept. 8 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS weapons cache.

On Sept. 7 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS front-end loader and an ISIS mortar system.

On Sept. 6 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted one strike against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS vehicle.

On Sept. 5 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted one strike against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS logistics hub.

On Sept. 4 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS supply route and an ISIS logistics hub.

On Sept. 3 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying two pieces of ISIS engineering equipment.

On Sept. 2 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS supply route, an ISIS vehicle and an ISIS-held building.

Strikes in Iraq

There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq between Sept. 5-9.

On Sept. 4, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Makhmur, a strike destroyed two ISIS-held buildings and damaged two ISIS-held buildings.
  • Near Kirkuk, a strike damaged three ISIS-held buildings.

On Sept. 3, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Rawah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIS cave.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and ground-based tactical artillery, officials noted.

A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Coalition Strikes Target ISIS Terrorists

The coalition and its partners continued to strike Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets in designated parts of Syria and Iraq between Sept. 3-9, conducting 16 strikes consisting of 22 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported on Monday.

Operation Roundup, which began May 1 to accelerate the defeat of ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region, has continued to gain ground and remove terrorists from the battlefield through offensive operations coupled with precision coalition strike support, officials said.

Strikes in Syria

On Sept. 9 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS staging area and an ISIS command-and-control center.

On Sept. 8 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS weapons cache.

On Sept. 7 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS front-end loader and an ISIS mortar system.

On Sept. 6 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted one strike against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS vehicle.

On Sept. 5 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted one strike against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS logistics hub.

On Sept. 4 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS supply route and an ISIS logistics hub.

On Sept. 3 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying two pieces of ISIS engineering equipment.

On Sept. 2 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS supply route, an ISIS vehicle and an ISIS-held building.

Strikes in Iraq

There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq between Sept. 5-9.

On Sept. 4, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Makhmur, a strike destroyed two ISIS-held buildings and damaged two ISIS-held buildings.
  • Near Kirkuk, a strike damaged three ISIS-held buildings.

On Sept. 3, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Rawah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIS cave.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and ground-based tactical artillery, officials noted.

A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Ouzo Gains Popularity in Iraq

By John Lee.

Greek ouzo has reportedly become extremely popular in Iraq in recent years, with imports increasing steadily.

According to greekreporter.com, ouzo is now replacing Iraq’s popular arak, a transparent drink very similar to Greece’s ouzo or raki.

Komotini-based company Distillery Winery of Thrace claims to have an 85-percent share of the Iraqi ouzo market.

More here.

(Source: greekreporter.com)

Former Defense Ministry Official Jailed for Corruption

By John Lee.

A former deputy general secretary at Iraq’s Ministry of Defense has reportedly been sentenced to six years in prison corruption.

According to Rudaw, Ziad al-Qattan was conviced in relation to three contracts to supply the Ministry with light weaponry and military equipment.

He held the position during the Iraqi Transitional Government of May 2005 to May 2006.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

Production Restarted at Baiji Refinery

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] announced on Sunday the full rehabilitation of the Salahaddin-2 unit at Baiji oil refinery.

The refinery was shut down in 2014 due to the actions of the Islamic State group (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh).

The Salahaddin-2 unit has a capacity of 70,000 barrels per day (bpd).

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Record Profits at Gulf Keystone

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has announced its results for the half year ended 30 June 2018.

Highlights to 30 June 2018 and post reporting period

Operational

  • Gulf Keystone’s operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq remained safe and secure throughout H1 2018 with plant uptime at Production Facility 1 (“PF-1”) and Production Facility 2 (“PF-2”) of over 99% during H1 2018 and one lost-time incident (the first for three years) in July 2018.
  • Shaikan achieved gross average production of 31,861 bopd for H1 2018 and 31,399 bopd for July and August. Our guidance for the full year remains unchanged at 27,000-32,000 bopd.
  • Cumulative production from Shaikan since inception exceeded 50 million barrels in June 2018.  Production and well     behaviour continues to match our expectations and increase our confidence in the Company’s geological model of the field.
  • PF-2 was tied-in to the export pipeline and the export of crude oil via the pipeline commenced during July 2018, leading to reduced operating costs and HSSE risk.
  •  Agreement reached in June 2018 with Ministry of Natural Resources (“MNR”) of the Kurdistan Regional Government (“KRG”) and our partner, MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas plc (“MOL”), in relation to investment plans to increase production at Shaikan to 55,000 bopd during the second half of 2019.
  • Construction work for the investment programme has started, equipment procurement and contract tendering are underway and overall activity is on schedule.
  • The scope of work for the 55,000 bopd project has been expanded to include opportunities to accelerate the production  increase and tie-in PF-1 to the export pipeline. While capex guidance for the original scope remains unchanged, the required capex for the project has been revised to between $200 million and $230 million gross to account for the acceleration of those additional opportunities.
  • The revised Field Development Plan (“FDP”) has been drafted and is being finalised prior to submission later in 2018.

Financial

  • Record profit after tax of $26.7 million (H1 2017: profit after tax of $0.7 million).
  • Continued disciplined cost control with underlying cash operating costs stable at $14.1m (H1 2017: $14.1m) and underlying cash operating costs per barrel of $3.0/bbl (H1 2017: $2.7/bbl).
  • The Group has continued to receive regular oil sales payments since 1 September 2015, with cash receipts of $107 million net to GKP during the half year and $147 million net to GKP during the eight months to 31 August 2018.
  • Net cash generated in operating activities of $61.2 million (H1 2017: $30.1 million).
  • Cash balance of $219 million at 30 June 2018 and $240 million at 7 September 2018 against $100 million debt principal.
  • Debt refinanced in July 2018, with $100 million Reinstated Notes redeemed and replaced by $100 million New Notes with five-year maturity and 10% interest rate.
  • Signing the Crude Oil Sales Agreement in January 2018 was a key milestone for the Company

Corporate

  • Jaap Huijskes appointed Non-Executive Chairman in April 2018.
  • Martin Angle appointed Senior Independent Non-Executive Director in July 2018.

Outlook

  • With construction work underway, the Company remains on track to increase production at Shaikan to 55,000 bopd in the second half of 2019.
  • GKP plans to carry out workovers on SH-1 and SH-3 wells by the end of the year, subject to rig availability.
  • The Company has begun work to tie-in PF-1 to the export pipeline which is anticipated to be complete mid-2019, leading to further reduced operating costs and HSSE risk.
  • The Company continues to make progress with the MNR and MOL to achieve further contractual and commercial clarity in relation to amendments of the Shaikan PSC, which it anticipates being concluded during Q4 2018.

Jón Ferrier, Gulf Keystone’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

It is pleasing to note that over the course of the year a number of key milestones have been achieved, leading to the recommencement of investment into Shaikan and the anticipated growth in production from the field. 

“The signing, and successful implementation, of the Shaikan crude oil export sales agreement at the start of the year paved the way for the commercial progress that has been achieved, including the investment plans but also regarding the amendment to the Shaikan PSC. Once the revised FDP is submitted to the MNR and there is clarity around the PSC, we look forward to providing further details to investors, including capital strategy.

“Once again, Shaikan has continued to perform well from an operational perspective, and in line with our strategic priority, this has been achieved whilst maintaining our strong safety track record.  With a clear path to future growth, underpinned by a healthy balance sheet and an outstanding asset, we can look to the future with confidence”.

More details here.

(Source: GKP)

Video: Iran claims Missile Attack on Kurdish Rebels in Iraq

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) confirmed on Sunday that it had launched deadly missile attacks against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq a day earlier.

Rockets struck the headquarters of two Iranian Kurdish opposition parties in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region with reports saying at least 11 people were killed and 50 others wounded.

The missiles hit the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) in the town of Koya, 300km north of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.

It was the first such attack since 1996.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Matheson reports from Baghdad: