Gazprom Neft, operator of the Badra oilfield development project (pictured), has appointed a contractor to lay the pipeline connecting the field to the power station in Zubaidiah (Wasit Province). The tender was won by Pakistani company Techno Engineering Services (Pvt.) Ltd.

In line with the contract, Techno Engineering Services will produce the designs, supply the equipment and materials, and carry out construction of the pipeline. First gas transportation via the pipeline, which is almost 100 km in length and has a daily capacity of 4.4 million cubic metres (circa 1.6 billion cubic metres per year), is planned for 2015.

Under Gazprom Neft’s contract with the Iraqi government for the development of the Badra oil field, investors are to be compensated for costs related to infrastructure construction.

Gas supply from the Badra oil field will enhance the Zubaidiah power station’s daily power output and provide a 24-hour power supply to the city of Kut, which currently has electricity supplied for only 16 hours per day. Some of the extracted gas will be used to provide electricity to the Badra oil fields themselves.

In March Gazprom Neft completed testing on a second well at Badra. The laying and testing of the oil pipeline to the Gharraf oilfield was completed in February, connecting the section to Iraq’s main pipeline system. The construction of the first phase of a central gathering station point with a capacity of 60,000 barrels per day is nearing completion. Work has also started on a gas treatment plant with the capacity to process 1.5 billion cubic metres per year.

(Source: Gazprom Neft)

By John Lee.

Militants have reportedly closed the Euphrates River dam they control in Iraq, cutting off a major source of water for central and southern Iraq.

AFP reports that militants had previously cut the flow of water through the dam near the city of Fallujah several weeks ago, but reopened it when water accumulated and caused the area to flood.

The US embassy issued a statement Monday condemning “ongoing terrorist acts” by powerful jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the dam closure in particular.

(Source: AFP)

(Terrorism image via Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The Black Diamond Oil Company has issued a press release in which it claims to make gross profits of $180,000 per day refining crude oil from the Taq Taq oilfield. The full text of the press release is shown below:

Iraq’s largely autonomous Kurdistan region opened the doors to a joint venture refinery operation between Black Diamond Oil Co. and the Rezhwan Co.

The new oil refinery will start refining Taq Taq crude oil next week with 1,500 tons being refined on a daily bases.

It was further decided that both companies had agreed that Black Diamond would increase the daily output of the refinery with a production of 3000 tons per day starting in May 2014.

The refinery near the Kurdish capital Erbil will be operated by the private Kurdish group Rezhwan Co., which will process the crude from purchasing above ground reserves in Taq Taq.

Black Diamond will purchase the crude directly from the Taq Taq field, in central Iraq 50 miles east-southeast of Erbil, is the Kurdistan region’s largest oil producing field, notes operator Genel Energy PLC.

Proved and probable reserves total 607 million BBL of the currently estimated 1.7 billion BBL of oil in place, and the field is delivering 80,000-100,000 b/d, all of it by truck for the moment. Production averaged 75,500 b/d in 2012 compared with 66,000 b/d in 2011.

The TT-22 Taq Taq Deep exploratory well that targets a gross un-risked resource of 250 million BBL of oil equivalent in Jurassic and Triassic reservoirs is due to spud shortly. Projected total depth is 5,400 m. The Jurassic-Triassic interval tested gas from a well drilled in the mid-1970s at Taq Taq.

By John Lee.

Iraq’s cabinet has approved an $589 million oilfield service contract with South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction.

The contract, approved on Tuesday, is for the engineering, procurement and construction of a gas separation facility at the Zubair oilfield.

Production at the field is planned to increase from the current 320,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 850,000 bpd by 2017.

The development of the Zubair Field is led by Eni (32.8%) with Occidental Petroleum Corporation (23.4%), Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) (18.8%) and Iraq’s state-run Missan Oil Company (25%).

(Source: Reuters)

(Picture: Youngsik Park, CEO, Daewoo Engineering and Construction)

Ventyx, an ABB company, has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Electricity (MOE) in Iraq to provide state-of-the-art energy management systems that will help improve the availability, performance and reliability of power supplies in Iraq from main control centers in Baghdad, Kirkuk and Basra.

The agreement is part of a major initiative to help rebuild a modern and reliable electricity transmission system for Iraq. The MOE is upgrading its existing Regional Control Centers (RCCs) by replacing legacy systems with an integrated solution that comprises Ventyx Network Manager SCADA EMS (supervisory control and data acquisition and energy management system) software.

Once upgraded, the control centers will provide operators with a system-wide view of the grid’s condition, enabling smooth operations as well as the rapid detection and correction of faults. The RCCs, jointly with the National Dispatch center (NDC), will be the backbone for the real-time monitoring, supervision and control of the country’s transmission grid.

By gaining greater visibility of its transmission network, MOE can reduce congestion and improve power availability and reliability – helping to avoid unplanned outages by rerouting power as needed. MOE will also be able to schedule planned outages, enabling its power plants to go offline for maintenance, as well as monitor “tie points” with surrounding nations so that power resources can be optimally shared between countries.

Ventyx will also provide extensive training, equipment maintenance and diagnostics services, as well as remote support services to ensure the smooth running of the transmission network.

The vast Empire World real estate development — the largest such development in Iraq — is a centerpiece of the KRG’s continued emphasis on creating a business friendly environment, including a luxury hotel, a villa residential neighborhood, and a surfeit of turnkey office space, all in one sprawling complex.

Slated for completion in 2017, the Empire World development represents a $2.7 billion investment in the future of the high-economic growth autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

In an interview with Marcopolis, Peshraw Majid Agha, Chairman of Falcon Group, the developer of Empire World, spoke about the large-scale development and where it fits in with the overall real estate and construction sector in Kurdistan’s capital, Erbil.

The outlook for real estate in Erbil is for further growth. There is more and more demand and there is cash in the market as many investors are coming to Kurdistan. Everyone is looking at the opportunities that exist in Erbil. It is now one of the most important cities in Iraq for business,” Mr Agha told Marcopolis.

Kurdistan is acting as an introduction to Iraq for investors. Investment here is growing, there is a lot of investment happening in infrastructure, power, roads etc. I think the outlook for real estate in Kurdistan therefore is also very good.

The Empire World chairman noted that each phase of the project was started in tandem with various market demands, such as large deficit in the housing market.

He added that the location was an ideal one given its proximity to the international airport and a large park, all of which, combined with his vision for a mixed residential and office complex, made the location perfect for both living and working.

Travelport, a “leading distribution services and e-commerce provider for the global travel industry“, has announced the renewal of a multi-year distribution partnership with Rawat-Al Hajer for Travelport technology and services in Iraq.

The renewal of the agreement comes after four successful years of partnership between Rawat-Al Hajer and Travelport.

Through this period, Travelport has experienced rapid growth in Iraq making Travelport the leading GDS in the country. In 2013 the team opened a new office in Erbil to complement its presence in Baghdad.

Rabih Saab (pictured), President and Managing Director, Africa, Middle East and South Asia, said:

Iraq remains a key region for us and this new agreement reinforces Travelport’s commitment to this country and our passion for supporting travel agents here and throughout our Middle East network.

“We have enjoyed a very successful partnership with Rawat-Al Hajer over the past four years and their commitment to outstanding service in delivering our technology and services to the local travel agent community makes them a key partner in the region and an excellent representative of Travelport.”

Aws Al Hashimi, Managing Director, Rawat-Al Hajer, said:

Our vision is to provide our customers with the best solutions in technology and services across aviation, hospitality and tourism. We look forward to continuing our work with Travelport, and continuing to provide cutting edge solutions to travel agencies.

(Source: Travelport)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s justice minister, Hassan al-Shimmari, said on Tuesday that the notorious Abu Ghraib prison just outside Baghdad has been shut due to unspecified security concerns.

According to a report from Washington Times, the prison’s 2,400 inmates have been taken to other facilities across the country.

Several months ago, rebel al Qaeda groups attacked the facility, setting free hundreds of inmates and killing several security guards.

(Source: Washington Times)

Iraq’s Finance Minister, HE Dr. Safauddin Mohammed Al Safi, and the Acting President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Hinai (pictured), have signed an agreement for $217 million to fund the construction of Expressway No. 1, a major trade-corridor connecting Iraq to its neighbouring countries.

The signing was attended by HE Dr. Abdul Basit Turki Said, Acting Governor, Central Bank of Iraq, and IDB Governor for Iraq.

Once operational, the highway which passes through the capital, Baghdad, will help to enhance trade flow and regional linkages between the Gulf countries and the Levant Region.

The nearly 1300-kilometer highway stretches from the city of Umm Qasr in Basra to areas near Syria and Jordan, passing through several Iraqi cities including Naseriyah, Diwaniyah, Hillah, Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi and Rutbah.

The total cost of the project is estimated at US$ 1 billion of which IDB is covering 22% by funding the construction of about 258 kilometers of the highway. Other major financiers are the World Bank (financing 32% of the project), the Iraqi government (29 %) and other partners (17%).

The highway project financing is a major breakthrough in IDB’s cooperation with Iraq coming in the framework of the Bank’s US$ 500 million reconstruction program for the country adopted in 2003.

Under the same program, IDB had approved two loans for US$ 25 million and two technical grants for elementary and vocational education projects. To date, 78% of IDB financings in Iraq have gone to the transport sector, 10% to education, 10% to health and 2% to industry and mining sectors.

(Source: IDB)

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 10th April 2014).

Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.

The RSISX index ended the week at ID1,823 (+0.1%)/ $1,943 (+0.1%) (weekly change). The number of week traded shares was 14.4bn and the weekly trading volume was ID20.6bn ($16.9mn).

ScreenHunter_491 Apr. 15 02.24

ISX Company Announcements

  • Al-Mansour Pharma. Ind. (IMAP) will hold its AGM* on May 17 to discuss 2013 annual financial results and distributing cash dividend. ISX will suspend trading of IMAP starting May 11.
  • Baghdad Passengers Transport (SBPT) will resume trading on Apr. 13, 2014 after increasing its capital from IQD200mn to IQD500mn through 150% bonus issue. The opening price will be IQD33.2 per share with +/- 50% limit for the first session.
  • Original shares of Union Bank (BUOI) resumed trading on Apr. 10, 2014 after they discussed and approved 2013 financial results and increasing its capital from IQD152bn to IQD252bn through 36.2% bonus and 29.6% rights issues.
  • AL-Nukhba for Construction (SNUC) will hold its AGM* on Apr. 17, 2014 to discuss 2012 annual financial results, distributing cash dividend, electing new board members and amending the article of incorporation by adding real-estate investment acitivities. ISX suspended trading of SNUC starting on Apr. 10, 2014.
  • A cross transaction occurred on IQD8.7bn National Bank of Iraq (BNOI) shares on April 8, 2014. This represents 3.5% of BNOI capital.
  • A cross transaction occurred on IQD25mn Al-Sadeer Hotel (HSAD) shares on April 8, 2014. This represents 2.0% of HSAD capital.
  • A cross transaction occurred on IQD1.83bn Kurdistan Int. Bank (BKUI) shares on April 7, 2014. This represents 0.6% of BKUI capital.
  • In a press conference on Apr. 3, 2014 CBI announced that the bank’s reserves of pure gold reached 90 tons after it bought 60 tons in the last two months in the framework of diversification of its reserves and supporting the value of the Iraqi dinar.
  • ISC has approved to extend one more month for Mosul Bank (BMFI) for its new shares to resume trading from the capital increase through 17.3% rights issue and 7.4% bonus issue.
  • A cross transaction occurred on IQD220mn Credit Bank of Iraq (BROI) shares on April 6, 2014. This represents 0.1% of BROI capital.