Iran


Price of Iranian Goods Falls 30% in Iraqi Kurdistan

By John Lee.

A sharp fall in the value of the Iranian rial has reportedly reduced the price of Iranian goods in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq by 30 percent, boosting demand.

According to Rudaw, trade between the Kurdistan Region and Iran amounted to $6 billion in 2016, falling to around $5.05 billion in 2017.

Tehran closed three border crossings with the Kurdistan Region at the request of Baghdad after September’s independence referendum, reopening them in early January.

More here from Rudaw.

(Source: Rudaw)

(Picture Credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Iraq to start 60,000 bpd Oil Swap with Iran

By John Lee.

Iraq says it plans to start oil exports to Iran from its northern Kirkuk oilfields next week, under the swap deal announced last month.

Iraq will export 60,000 bpd of crude oil by truck from Kirkuk to Iran’s Kermanshah refinery (pictured), and ship back refined Iranian oil for southern Iraq.

For the time being, tanker trucks will be used for the shipment but Iran and Iraq also plan to build a pipeline to carry the oil from Kirkuk.

(Source: Press TV)

US firm “Suspends” Tank Maintenance in Iraq

By John Lee.

US-based General Dynamics, which produces Abrams tanks, has reportedly suspended its maintenance program in Iraq after one of its tanks was provided to the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi Popular Mobilization Force (PMF).

Iraq’s al-Ghad Press has reports that the company withdrew from its base at Baghdad’s al-Muthanna airport after finding out that Iraq violated the terms of the contract which only authorized the Iraqi army to use the US-provided tanks.

Iraq owns 140 M1 Abrams tanks, sixty of which are now out of service.

Read more here.

(Source: Kurdistan 24)

Iran Eyes Closer Banking Ties with Iraq

Iran’s president called for stronger banking relations with Iraq to allow for a growth in the bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

In a meeting with Iraq’s parliament speaker in Tehran on Tuesday, President Hassan Rouhani said expansion of economic and trade ties between the two neighbors hinges on enhanced baking relations.

The central banks of Iran and Iraq need to promote cooperation and keep working together to contribute to the bilateral trade, he added.

The president also hailed the Iraqi government’s success to defeat terrorism and thwart the hostile plots to foment discord in the Arab country, reiterating Tehran’s support for an integrated Iraq and opposition to any change in the borders of regional countries.

For his part, Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri expressed gratitude to Iran for supporting his nation in the fight against terrorism.

Iraq is at the beginning of a new era, and looks for continued support from Iran on the road to development and reconstruction, the speaker added.

The Iraqi speaker is in Iran for the 13th Conference of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Member States (PUIC).

Iran, a close ally of Iraq, supported the Arab nation in the fight against Daesh (ISIL) since the terrorist group invaded Iraq in summer 2014.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Border Crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan Reopen

Iran’s two border crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan region have resumed their operations following an announcement by the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the director general of the Interior Ministry’s border affairs department said.

Shahriar Heidari said that according to the interior minister, the Parviz Khan border crossing in Iran’s Kermanshah province and the Haj Omran (Tamarchin) border crossing in Iran’s West Azerbaijan reopened on Tuesday.

He said the reopening of the borders came after an announcement by the SNSC and the resumption of activities of diplomatic and security organizations in the districts.

Iran shut its common frontier with the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan Region at the request of Baghdad after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a referendum to secede from the Arab country in September.

People in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq voted for independence on September 25 in a controversial referendum, amid rising tensions and international opposition.

The referendum set off a chain of events, culminating in a military confrontation between Erbil and Baghdad.

Iraqi government forces launched a major operation in Kirkuk on October 16 and took control of its oil fields and a strategic military base without any armed clashes.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Iran exports Steel Rebar to Iraq

Iran‘s South Rouhina Steel Complex has reportedly sent 500 tons of rebar to Iraq.

The Iranian trade attaché to Iraq, Naser Behzad, is quoted by IRNA as saying that the consignment was worth $250,000.

‘Exports to Iran have paved the way for sending standard goods,’ he said.

South Rouhina Steel Complex has the capacity to produce about 500,000 tons of rebar per year, increasing to 3 million tons in two years.

According to the company’s websites, South Rouhina Steel Complex (Iran rebar) started in 2010 on a 100-hectare site in Khouzestan province, 7 kilometers from Dezful.

(Source: IRNA)

Pipeline Network to cover all of Iraq

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] has reportedly said that Iraq plans to build a network of pipelines to transport oil products throughout the country, as an alternative to expensive and hazardous road transport.

Reuters quotes him as saying that the network will be part of a strategic plan that includes pipelines to deliver both crude oil and oil products to neighbouring countries.

Earlier this month Iraq announced plans to build a crude-oil pipeline to Iran.

(Source: Reuters)

Iraq’s Fifth Licensing Round

By Alessandro Bacci.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The Ministry of Oil has repeatedly said that it would like to renegotiate the terms of its service contracts with the international oil companies (IOCs) to link the fees the companies receive for developing the fields to the oil prices and to have them share the burden when oil prices decrease.

However, discussions between the federal government and the IOCs have been going on for the past two years with no tangible results until now. Companies affirm that they have submitted some recommendations, but then the process has not moved on.

At this point, it seems that to have a successful fifth licensing round, the federal government must produce in the coming months a new model contract (or at least an amended version of the present technical service contracts) capable of satisfying according to different price levels both the government and the IOCs.

Otherwise, it’s difficult for Iraq to reach the production target of 6 million bpd of crude oil by 2020, especially if other neighboring countries might soon offer better contractual terms.

Please click here to download the full report.

Alessandro Bacci is an independent energy consultant in relation to business strategy and corporate diplomacy (policy, government, and public affairs). Much of his activity is linked to the MENA region, an area where he lived for four years. Alessandro is now based in London, United Kingdom (www.alessandrobacci.com). A multilingual professional, Alessandro holds a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws from the University of Florence (Italy), a Master in Public Affairs from Sciences Po (France), and a Master in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Singapore).    

Iraqi, Turkish Investors eye Iranian Petrol Stations

By John Lee.

Private investors from Iraq and Turkey have reportedly held preliminary negotiations with Iran to expand and modernize its fuel stations.

According to a report from Petrol Plaza, there are 3,600 fuel stations and 2,400 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in Iran which need renovation and investment.

To date, more than 250 state-controlled fuel stations have been privatized in the country.

(Source: Petrol Plaza)

(Picture credit: Asadi S)

Tehran-Baghdad sign One-Year Oil Swap Deal

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] said on Sunday that a deal signed with Tehran to swap up to 60,000 barrels per day of crude produced from the northern Iraqi Kirkuk oilfield for Iranian oil is for one year.

This is an agreement for one year and then we will see after that whether to renew it,” Luaibi told reporters in Kuwait City on the sidelines of an Arab oil ministerial meeting, Reuters reported.

The agreement signed on Friday by the two OPEC countries provides for Iran to deliver to Iraq’s southern ports “oil of the same characteristics and in the same quantities” as those it would receive from Kirkuk.

The deal in effect allows Iraq to resume sales of Kirkuk crude, which have been halted since Iraqi forces took back control of the fields from the Kurds in October.

Between 30,000 and 60,000 bpd of Kirkuk crude will be delivered by tanker trucks to the border area of Kermanshah, where Iran has a refinery.

The two countries are planning to build a pipeline to carry the oil from Kirkuk, so as to avoid trucking the crude.

The pipeline could replace the existing export route from Kirkuk via Turkey and the Mediterranean by pipeline.

(Sources: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence; Iraqi Ministry of Oil)