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

Riyadh woos Iraqis with security talks, economic projects

Falih al-Fayadh, head of the Popular Mobilization Units and Iraq’s national security adviser, visited Saudi Arabia Jan. 31 in a sign of the new and improved ties between the two countries.

As Fayadh is close to Iran and widely viewed as a pro-Iran candidate for interior minister in the government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, his visit aimed to reassure Riyadh that the PMU will target neither it nor its interests in Iraq.

A few days before Fayadh’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Riyadh renewed its support for Baghdad, especially in terms of security, in a Jan. 24 phone call between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abdul Mahdi.

In light of the tension prevailing over the region, the phone call emphasized Riyadh’s desire to make up for the past and create a positive relationship with Iraq.

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

Shell has reportedly announced that the Basrah Gas Company (BGC) has taken a “final investment decision (FID)” on its growth programme, which will increase BGC’s capacity by 40 percent.

According to Oil and Gas Middle East, the decision was taken with the support of all BGC’s shareholders: South Gas Company (SOC), Shell and Mitsubishi.

BGC captures flared gas from the Rumaila, West Qurna 1 and Zubair oilfields, converting it into dry gas for power generation and liquids for the domestic market and for exports.

At the heart of the new development is the Basrah Natural Gas Liquids (Basrah NGL) project; a 400 million standard cubic feet per day greenfield gas processing plant at Ar Ratawi.

More here.

(Source: Oil and Gas Middle East)

Justice announces the publication of the budget of 2019 Iraqi newspaper facts

The Ministry of Justice announced on Monday the issuance of the new issue of the Iraqi Gazette No. (4529) on the Federal Budget Law No. 1 of 2019 approved by the House of Representatives and approved by the President of the Republic.

The Director General of the Iraqi Facts Department Kamel Amin Hashim said in a statement received by Alsumaria News, a copy of it, "the budget law to ensure the transfer of money from some ministries to the liberated provinces and the province of Basra and detailed sentences in terms of spending, investment and loans,"

noting that "the law included the request of the Council The Ministry of Electricity, as well as continuing to grant staff five-year leave and the introduction of grades for the popular mobilization and tribal mobilization. "

"The number also includes the law banning the importation of food products, as well as agricultural products that have a similar local product, according to the agricultural calendar," he added.

The Iraqi fact sheet included the details of the budget and its adjustments for the current year 2019.…D9%8A%D8%A9/ar

Economist: Kurdistan region is the only beneficiary of the budget

Tai said in a statement to "Bourne" The Kurdistan region is the only beneficiary of the 2019 budget due to make a lot of concessions on the part of the federal government , notably overlooked payment of the province of Baghdad earlier dues amounted to $ 32 billion. "

He added that" the current year ‘s budget does not meet the ambitious province Basra and the provinces that suffer from poverty and acute shortage of services. "

Central Bank of the country: the process of development of government banks collide with the budget and allocations

The Director of the Central Bank in Basra Qasim Rahif, said Wednesday, that the process of developing and qualifying government banks to provide banking services to customers better collides with the budget and financial allocations.

Rahif said in his interview with the Murad that the process of development in terms of buildings, furniture and appliances is due to the conditions of the budget, and they are affected by the full impact of the economic situation of the country, unlike the civil banks that operate with specialized budgets.

He pointed out that the Central Bank has initiatives to rehabilitate government banks such as Al-Rashid and Rafidain to keep pace with current banking services, but these initiatives are still not implemented and the development process requires the approval and procedures of the Ministry of Finance in this regard.

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Thamir A. Al-Ghadhban met Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi on Monday in Baghdad.

Eni’s CEO outlined the Company’s current activities in the country in light of the recent achievements of the Zubair field development. Mr. Al-Ghadhban and Mr. Descalzi also discussed future opportunities and development investments that will further strengthen Eni’s relationship with the country.

At Zubair oil production has grown by over 100% since 2015 and a new 380 MW plant that will generate power for domestic consumption is in the final stages of construction.

Mr. Al-Ghadhban and Mr. Descalzi also discussed future opportunities and development investments that will further strengthen Eni’s relationship with the country. The Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affair and Eni’s CEO also discussed the progress of social projects that are currently underway in the Basra Governorate in the areas of healthcare, education, access to energy and clean drinking water.

Finally, Eni’s CEO also highlighted potential synergies related to energy projects in Iraq, a strategic lever for the Country in maximizing its use of national natural resources.

Eni is one of the largest international upstream oil & gas players in the country, where it currently operates 475,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (35,000 boed Eni equity).

Eni has been present in Iraq since 2009 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%, State Partner 5%) the Company has become one of Iraq’s main operators in the oil sector.

(Source: Eni)

Sileman presents three points for success in Iraq


issued a former US ambassador to Iraq , Douglas Silliman , on Tuesday, a statement on ending his tenure in Iraq, while a three – point display to achieve success in the country.

"I have had the honor and the gratitude to serve as US ambassador to Iraq in the last two and a half years, as well as for our efforts to strengthen the economic, security and cultural relations between our two countries," Sulliman said in a statement.

"The United States and our diplomatic missions in Baghdad Erbil strongly supports Iraq’s unity, sovereignty, democracy and prosperity, and the Kurdistan region is stable and effective as part of the Iraqi state . "

"I will leave Iraq with beautiful memories of many of the areas I visited in Iraq. My wife and I were inspired by the diversity of this country and we were touched by the warmth and generosity of its people.

We walked among the date groves in Basra and walked among the remains of Ibrahim’s house in Ur. Nasiriyah , "referring to " we have seen the return of the life of the southern marshes in the beautiful Chabaish and stood at the feet of a lion of Babylon,

and I visited Fallujah Teaching Hospital, which has been restored with US assistance and spoke with the brave fighters of the anti – terrorism in the treatment and rehabilitation of veterans injured in the b Center Dad. "

"The kebabs have been tasted in the markets of Arbil and I have spoken at the American University of Iraq – Sulaymaniyah and visited the Nahum Shrine in Qush.

I will always cherish the experiences and friendships that emerged from the recognition of this vast and beautiful country," he said, noting that "Iraq has made progress over the last two and a half years Although it is difficult to see that progress in the midst of the noise of politics. "

"When I arrived in Iraq as ambassador at the end of the summer of 2016, he was an existential threat to Iraq and the entire region.

At a time when the Iraqi security forces were ready to make heroic efforts to restore Mosul, after a number of fierce battles and the loss of many brave Iraqis, The Iraqi forces and in partnership with the International Alliance led by the United States to liberate Mosul and the expulsion of elements urging them,

"explaining that" the fighting has not yet ended, based on the request of the Iraqi government and in full cooperation with Baghdad, there are still more than 5000 US soldiers continue to work in partnership with the security forces Iraqis in their bases to provide advice, training and equipping them to ensure the permanent defeat of Da’ash and defend the borders of Iraq. "

"The coalition of 74 countries and five international organizations has trained more than 190,000 Iraqi police officers and soldiers," he said.

"With the decline in the security situation in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, the improvement of the security situation and the efforts of the Iraqi government and the United States And other international partners, more than four million displaced Iraqis have returned to their homes in safety and dignity. Minority ethnic and religious communities have also begun to recover after being targeted by genocide. "

"Our economic relations are growing and we are working hard to promote trade and investment between Iraq and the United States. Last month, the embassy cooperated with the Iraqi government and the American Chamber of CommerceTo bring more than 50 American companies to Iraq to establish new trade and investment partnerships,

"explaining that" in light of all this progress I see unlimited opportunities for Iraq in the future, Iraq is a rich country and has an abundance of oil, gas, water and arable land, and has segments of learners Smart people who work hard and also have the support of the United States and dozens of other countries that want to see it transform into an independent, democratic, prosperous and sovereign country.

"By 2025, one million young Iraqis will enter the labor market each year at a time when the government is no longer able To provide employment for all who need to Here, as well as the armed factions beyond the control of the state has imposed its control over many areas of the country , which led to provoke fear and frustration many of the displaced Iraqis and prevented them from returning to their homes, "he said . "

He said that "bureaucracy, corruption and lack of clarity in the procedures impede the pursuit of businessmen to expand their projects in Iraq and create new jobs," wishing success to Iraq. "

Suleiman offered his views on how best to achieve success, which included" Iraq must protect its sovereignty by securing its borders and building troops "Iraq has to work to liberate its economy from corruption and bureaucratic obstacles that prevent businessmen from expanding their projects and creating new job opportunities, and at the gates.…D8%A7%D9%82/ar

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Basra Oil Company (BOC) has agreed a deal with the state-owned Iraqi Drilling Company (IDC) to drill 40 new oil wells in the giant Majnoon oilfield.

In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Oil said the aim is to increase production at the field to 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2021.

Reuters estimates current production at around 240,000 bpd.

(Sources: Ministry of Oil, Reuters)

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced it will support UK firms with US $1.02 billion to build two new power stations in Iraq and support the restoration of a number of electricity substations in the country.

  • US $1.02 billion in support for UK firms to build two new power stations
  • Agreement will help build and refurbish numerous electricity substations across Iraq
  • Announcement reaffirms the UK’s commitment to Iraq’s continued economic development

US $620 million financing will go to support two contracts between GE and Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity to build two power stations in Samawa and Dhi Qar, located northwest of Basra, in southern Iraq.

UKEF had already provided initial support for the project; this additional financing supports the main construction phase of the project involving further procurement from UK suppliers through GE sub-contractor ENKA UK.

UKEF will also provide US $400 million to support a project by GE’s Grid Solutions, business to develop 14 sub-stations across Iraq. GE will build new substations on a turnkey basis and supply equipment such as transformers and other parts to rehabilitate existing substations, helping to bring power to areas with significant power shortages from the north to the south of the country.

This announcement follows the agreement between the governments of the UK and Iraq signed in March 2017, which re-affirmed the UK’s commitment to Iraq’s continued economic development.

This project will play a key role in bolstering the capacity of the Iraqi electricity grid, the two new power stations, located in the Basra region, will give citizens the access they need to critical infrastructure.

Baroness Fairhead (pictured), Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said:

The scale of these contracts illustrates the demand for British expertise in the utilities sector and the level of support the government can give to British businesses looking to make the most of similar opportunities across the globe.

“The UK Government continues to be committed to Iraq’s economic development and I am delighted that UK Export Finance is supporting projects that will have such a direct impact on improving the country’s critical infrastructure and the lives of the Iraqi people.

Guto Davies, GE Energy Financial Services’ Global Capital Advisory Managing Director, said:

“The announcement of these new facilities further strengthens GE’s collaborations in Iraq to support the country’s power infrastructure and meet the growing need for electricity. GE recognises the importance of UKEF in supporting critical infrastructure projects in Iraq and the UK supply-chain. We are delighted they continue to fund major projects in the country’s power energy sector.”

Yavuz Akturk, Director at ENKA UK, said:

Power shortages continue to halt Iraq’s reconstruction and addressing this scarcity is crucial to the country’s future. As ENKA, we have taken a significant role in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, and with these projects we will help the people in the country which are in urgent need for electricity.

“It would not be possible without the continuous support of the UK Government and the highly dedicated UKEF team; and we as ENKA, are grateful for the high-level support for these projects which will also provide great opportunities for the UK exporters.”

(Source: UK Govt)

Parliament The budget law guarantees 37 new paragraphs and parliamentary finance awaiting the appeal of the government

Baghdad / Mohammed Sabah
The Parliamentary Finance Committee talks about its concerns about the government filing an appeal before the Federal Court on some paragraphs of the Budget Law 2019, which was drawn by the members of the Council during the vote, indicating that the deputies added about 37 articles on the law during the vote.

In a related context, deputies point out that the number of contractors of the Ministry of Electricity who will be installed on the permanent owners up to (35) thousand contractors, and the Ministry of the Ministry of the approximate number of about (15) thousand records with an allocation of 120 thousand dinars to the lecturer Which did not include in these appointments per month.

"The powers of the House of Representatives to make amendments to the law of the general budget are limited and do not exceed the reduction of expenses, and the conduct of transfers at the gates of public exchange," he said, adding that his committee "did not exceed Limits of these powers in the preparation of the final wording of the federal budget law approved by Parliament. "

At the dawn of last Thursday, the House of Representatives was able to pass the federal budget law for 2019, which amounted to about 106 trillion dinars (88.5 billion dollars), while estimated expenditures 133 trillion dinars (111.5 billion dollars), a total deficit amounted to (27.5) trillion dinars ($ 23 billion).

The Finance Committee in the House of Representatives began more than a week ago to prepare and write the final versions of the draft federal budget law for 2019 after the completion of the file of the extension of all ministries and government institutions and independent bodies.

The number of observations made by the members of the House of Representatives on the law of the general budget to the parliamentary financial committee before the vote to about 300 observations relating to the total allocations for the development of the regions and funds allocated for the reconstruction of western cities and the budgets of the provinces of Basra and Babel and Wasit and oil exports from the Kurdistan region.

The federal budget for the current year was devoid of the allocation of job grades. However, it authorized the Council of Ministers to introduce job grades for the confirmation of daily contracts and workers according to the precedence and actual need of that department or institution for the contractor.

"The issue of contracts and daily workers is a big issue because it belongs to large and comprehensive sectors in the Iraqi government," explains the head of the parliamentary finance committee, noting that the number of contractors and day laborers is much higher than that allocated in the budget law.

"He pointed out that" the House of Representatives limited authority, and is not to add functional grades in the draft budget law, "stressing that the Committee" committed to the items and paragraphs and articles of the budget law sent by the government to the House of Representatives. "

The previous government had sent the bill to the House of Representatives, but the latter rejected the law in principle after the reservation of many of the mass on a number of paragraphs, while demanding the government to make radical amendments to the budget materials.

The Chairman of the Finance Committee MP Saffar, saying that "texts related to the installation of contracts and change the daily workers to the contractors are the proposals sent by the government within the draft budget law, as well as a large number of members of the House of Representatives to submit proposals like the Financial Committee," pointing out that "a vote The House of Representatives on these proposals will force the government to develop a certain plan to stabilize the owners of contracts.

"The government has focused on the proposals voted by the House of Representatives to install the contracts of sectors that I described as necessary, such as electricity and oil and turn them into permanent owners," he said, adding that "the contract holders of other sectors of government is bound The government, not the parliament or the finance committee. "

The Council of Ministers has decided to equalize the contract holders with the employees and cover them with the privileges and rights obtained by the employee in the state such as loans, housing, allowances and retirement, as well as giving them priority in appointing permanent owners according to need and specialization and calculating their services for the purposes of premium, promotion and retirement.

"However, the parliament is unable to add new paragraphs and articles in the federal budget law because it has financial implications on the government that we filed before the Federal Court."

And reveals that "the House of Representatives added about 37 articles on the budget law during the course of the session of parliament, which ended at dawn last Thursday," pointing out that "the parliamentary finance committee was not happy to add new paragraphs on the law of the general budget."

The MP from the Kurdistan Democratic Party bloc that "the draft budget law has become a component after these additions and proposals made by a group of deputies of nearly eighty articles," stressing that "some of these materials transfers, and another section with financial consequences may be a pretext for the government to challenge Before the Federal Court. "

The draft federal budget law of 2019, which was sent by the Council of Ministers to the House of Representatives on October 24, 2018 of (52).

"The government agreed with the Parliamentary Finance Committee during the review of the law not to exceed the ceiling of spending to avoid the increase in the amount of disbursement specified in the draft law," he said, expecting "the government to appeal before the Federal Court on some of the materials added in the voting session."

The Kurdish MP to the position of his commission of these additions, which was made without review, saying that "the parliamentary finance was embarrassing from the additions of the House of Representatives on the law of the budget proposed by the members of the Council," stressing that "its final position is in the service of the Iraqi citizen.

" Al-Saffar pointed out that "the parliamentary finance after the completion of the revision of the draft budget law did not add material financial implications for the government, but only to conduct transfers in the exchange sections through the overstatement of the expenses of some ministries."

"The size of this transfer did not exceed (4) trillion dinars. Our goal was to create jobs for different sectors and ministries in the Iraqi state, "adding that his committee" carried out transfers by the central bank budgets as well as from the ministries of electricity, oil, interior and defense. "

The deputy of the province of Dohuk that "the text of the draft budget law by the Parliamentary Finance Committee authorizes the government to install contracts and workers daily aims to create social justice among the members of the community," explaining that "the confirmation of owners of contracts and workers daily by the government will be based on precedence and service and need The government agency in which the contractor operates ".

He pointed out that "the installation of contracts in all sectors and ministries is up to the government, which will resort to issuing instructions to implement its previous decisions to resolve the problems of contract holders and day laborers."

In a related context, the MP talks about the circumstances of the adoption of the Federal Budget Law 2019 in the House of Representatives, which he described as "extraordinary" saying that his committee "worked for 38 consecutive days during which it met a number of ministers and officials and ended by voting on the law."

He explained that "the first review found the draft budget law prepared by the previous government devoid of the terms and paragraphs of the ministerial platform introduced by the new government," noting that "the parliament and the government participated in the preparation of the budget law again."

However, the head of age, "the federal budget law for the year 2019 is not the level of ambition to address all the problems and repercussions suffered by the Iraqi citizen," while saying that the lack of time and exceptional circumstances in which the government and parliament caused this wording.

On the other hand, says a member of the Finance Committee Majid al-Waeli that "the decision to install the owners of contracts and workers a day a government decision already approved the General Budget Law, which included the installation of contracts of the Ministry of Electricity and lecturers in the Ministry of Taxation."

"The number of contractors of the Ministry of Electricity who will be installed on the permanent staff reaches 35 thousand," Al-Waili said in a statement to Al-Mada.

"The ministry’s statistics are about 15 thousand, with an allocation of 120 thousand Dinars to the lecturer who did not include in these appointments monthly. "

He continued that "the owners of contracts in the ministries and various departments will enjoy the same privileges granted to the employee with a precedence in the appointments based on the decision of the Council of Ministers."

He pointed out that "the House of Representatives added to this article on the confirmation of contracts formula or phrase obliges the government to install electricity contracts and lecturers in the Ministry of Education on the permanent owners," stressing that "the budget was compressed in terms of funds and degrees of employment and revenue is limited can not increase."

He points out that "any addition with financial consequences may make the budget law vulnerable to challenge by the federal government," stressing that "the federal budget law provided for the installation of owners of electricity contracts and lecturers."

The MP discusses the reform alliance to talk about the articles that have been added to the law of the general budget, saying that "there are materials added by his committee and others were presented as proposals by the members of the House of Representatives," stressing that "among these materials conversion certificates in the Ministries of Defense and Interior To civil ministries ".

The MP did not rule out the province of Najaf, "the possibility of stabbing the government some of the articles of the General Budget Law, which was added in the voting session," stressing that "new materials that were added required the President of the House of Representatives to achieve the financial abundance to implement."

In regard to the articles that fell by voting within the House of Representatives MP Majid al-Waeli that "the House of Representatives dropped the article that gives the Ministry of Taxation commissioned the Nahrain printing press books exclusively and processing directorates books and school supplies," noting that "After dropping this article will be printing books for all Iraqi printing presses After lifting the privacy and dropping it from the Nahrain Press. "

He continued that "the rejection of article (14) of the budget law, which was granting the Iraqi state departments to expand investment in the private sector on the lack of guarantees to implement correctly," pointing out that "the aim of the refusal is to push the private sector towards the adoption of the investment law."

Article (14), which was dropped in the budget law to grant ministries and entities not linked to the Ministry and the provinces to expand the opening of private investment and participation with the private sector within the limits of competence.…2%D8%B1%D8%A9/