Kirkuk Oilfields


BP signs Contract to Develop Kirkuk Oil

By John Lee.

The Ministry of Oil has announced that BP has signed a contract to develop the Kirkuk oil fields.

According to Reuters, the deal with the North Oil Company (NOC) will see BP will boost output capacity from the six fields in the Kirkuk region to more than 1 million barrels of oil per day (bpd), three times current capacity.

In the past, BP has provided technical assistance to help develop the Kirkuk fields.

(Sources: Ministry of Oil, Reuters)

Power-sharing deal could end dispute over Kirkuk Elections

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

For the first time since 2005, Kirkuk governorate in Iraq will hold elections Dec. 22 to select its local governing council. Parliament included the multiethnic province of the Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens in the provincial election law approved March 3.

The decision follows an agreement among the three groups’ representatives in parliament and was greatly welcomed by all segments, especially the Kurds, who for years have demanded that elections be held in Kirkuk. Khalid al-Mafraji, an Arab parliament member from Kirkuk, told Al-Monitor that negotiations took more than a year.

The agreement binds the Independent High Electoral Commission to review voters’ records in coordination with the ministries of Interior, Commerce, Planning and Health. If they aren’t able to review the records before the elections, the commission will be obliged to undertake an audit within six months after the elected council begins its work.

“The most important articles of the agreement relate to sharing power,” Mafraji said. The largest bloc in the election will appoint the governor, and the two deputy positions will go to the other two groups. Moreover, federal positions will be determined by the governorate’s residents, according to party size. The agreement also states that the constitution and the law take precedence over the governorate’s council, parliament and the federal government.

The electoral law will remain in effect for four years. Shakhawan Abdullah, who represents Kirkuk in the Kurdistan Democratic Party in parliament, told Al-Monitor, “The agreement between the three components of Kirkuk’s governorate will be effective for only one electoral round, and the elections will not be held in the same way in four years’ time.”

Abdullah believes the provincial election law presents a good opportunity to resolve conflicts in the governorate and give it more administrative powers, like other governorates. The governorate has gone without elections all these years for various reasons. Oil-rich Kirkuk is a disputed area claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil. Its situation is also unique because of its ethnic diversity and disagreements among them.

The constitution stipulates the conflicts in the governorate must be normalized in three stages. The first stage is to allow the return of displaced Kurds and Arabs who emigrated during the regime of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The second stage is to carry out a population census, and the last stage is to hold a general referendum on whether Kirkuk should become a new region, like the autonomous Kurdistan Region, or be annexed to the Kurdistan Region.

All of those procedures were to be carried out before 2007, which wasn’t done. This caused political conflict, partly because of the disagreement between Baghdad and the KRG over having elected authorities with the right to control the governorate’s future.

The Kurdistan independence referendum in September, which included Kirkuk, ended in crisis, and the central government subsequently took over the governorate and cut the Kurds’ authority. The coming elections will give Baghdad and the KRG a chance to solve the current dispute over Kirkuk’s administration.

However, the most important problem that may affect holding elections in Kirkuk is the agreement on a unified record of voters, which may raise doubts about the election results. Iraq hasn’t conducted a census in decades. Ali Khalil, the Arab bloc member of the governorate council, told Al-Monitor that Arabs weren’t in favor of the agreement’s clause that allows an audit to be delayed until after the elections if records can’t be reviewed before then.

“How would we elect a new governorate council while doubting voters’ records at the same time?” Khalil asked.

The Kirkuk local elections will provide a chance to reduce tension in the governorate, a good way to determine the real size of each of the three ethnic groups and a way to form a more legitimate administration — but it could lead to negative results. If one segment is counted and found to have significantly fewer representatives than before, that segment might refuse to accept the election results.

Kirkuk Council reportedly files Oil case against Iraq Govt

Kirkuk Governorate Council has reportedly filed a complaint at the Iraqi Supreme Court against the federal government for taking unilateral steps on the governorate’s oil.

A press report on February 19 cited three moves that it said Baghdad has taken without consultation with local government: An agreement with British Petroleum (BP) to develop Kirkuk oil fields; efforts to export oil to Iran and Turkey; and exporting oil to Iran via tankers.

Though the report referred to these three steps as “contracts“, only the third relates to an agreement that is already being realised. The other moves remain in the initial stages.  The head of the Kurdish Fraternity List at Kirkuk Governorate Council, Muhammad Kamal, told press:

“In accordance with the federal constitution, in provinces that produce oil, there should be coordination with the local governments and no contracts should be signed without consultation with the local administrations”. 

Head of Kirkuk Governorate Council, Rebwar Talabani, stated that the federal government “does not listen to any articles of the constitution or laws“.  He said the majority at the council were hoping that “our demands take the form of a legal case against the Iraqi government“.

According to the report, the council has filed 13 complaints at the Supreme Court against the Iraqi government concerning “violations” by Iraqi security forces and the government since October.

It added that since the federal takeover, the people of Kirkuk have not benefited from the governorate’s oil wealth, whereas prior to the takeover local government was given 10m dollars per month by the Kurdistan Regional Government for exporting its oil.

(Source: GardaWorld)

BP to Boost Oil Production at Kirkuk Oilfields

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] has signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding with BP to rehabilitate the oil fields in Kirkuk governorate.

Michael Townsend, CEO of BP, said that the company is going to prepare the necessary studies to increase production at the Kirkuk oil fields to 750,000 bpd.

The two men inspected the Kirkuk fields on Thursday and ordered a speeding-up of rehabilitation operations.

(Source: Oil Ministry)

Baghdad “bans” Kar Group from Kirkuk Oilfields

By John Lee.

The Iraqi parliament has reportedly banned Erbil-based Kar Group from operating oil fields in Kirkuk.

According to Rudaw, it assigned the state-owned North Oil Company (NOC) to take over oil production in the province and export it through Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO).

Reuters reports that Kar Group had been operating some of the Kirkuk oilfields since Kurdish Peshmerga forces took control of the city in 2014, following the retreat of the Iraqi army in the face of so-called Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh).

It is said to have failed to reach agreement with Baghdad after Iraqi forces re-took the area.

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) claims that the Khurmala field, part of the Kirkuk oilfields, is located inside its boundaries.

(Sources: Rudaw, Reuters)

Int’l Companies Invited to Invest in New Pipeline

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has invited local and international companies to participate in the execution of the oil export pipeline extension, which extends from the Kirkuk oilfield to the Iraqi-Turkish border, and will run side-by-side with the old strategic pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan (pictured).

Mr. Assim Jihad, the spokesman of the Ministry of Oil, said that the pipeline will run for over 350 kilometers, and will be 48 inches in diameter.

It will be able to transport 1 million barrels per day (bpd) and will be built on a BOOT basis investment method, which includes the construction, property, operation and property transfer.

The government and the ministry does not bare or pay any money or spending over the project at the current time, but after the operation.

The project includes also the construction of a gas pipeline, pumps and reservoirs, in addition to the other completed accessories and services. The contract also commits the winner consortium companies to share with the local companies with 25% or more of the project proportion within the consortium.

Mr. Jihad said also that the oil projects company have determined the 24th of January 2018 as the last date for the companies to present their participation letter.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Int’l Companies Invited to Invest in New Pipeline

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has invited local and international companies to participate in the execution of the oil export pipeline extension, which extends from the Kirkuk oilfield to the Iraqi-Turkish border, and will run side-by-side with the old strategic pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan (pictured).

Mr. Assim Jihad, the spokesman of the Ministry of Oil, said that the pipeline will run for over 350 kilometers, and will be 48 inches in diameter.

It will be able to transport 1 million barrels per day (bpd) and will be built on a BOOT basis investment method, which includes the construction, property, operation and property transfer.

The government and the ministry does not bare or pay any money or spending over the project at the current time, but after the operation.

The project includes also the construction of a gas pipeline, pumps and reservoirs, in addition to the other completed accessories and services. The contract also commits the winner consortium companies to share with the local companies with 25% or more of the project proportion within the consortium.

Mr. Jihad said also that the oil projects company have determined the 24th of January 2018 as the last date for the companies to present their participation letter.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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)

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)

New Pipeline to Export Kirkuk Oil via Ceyhan

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry has announced that it will build a new pipeline from Baiji to Fishkabur, enabling Kirkuk oil to be exported again from Turkey’s Ceyhan port (pictured).

Kirkuk’s oil was previously being exported via the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) pipeline to Ceyhan, but this has been on hold since Baghdad took control of the area.

Plans to rehabilitate Baghdad’s existing oil pipeline to Turkey, which was badly damaged by militants in 2014, have been scrapped.

(Sourced: Ministry of Oil, Rudaw)