Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) has announced that its subsidiary, TAQA Atrush B.V. (TAQA Iraq), has set a new production record from the Atrush oil field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

For the first time since the field commenced production operations in July 2017, the total monthly production volume exceeded 1 million barrels of oil in July 2019.

The 1 million barrel mark is a key milestone in TAQA Iraq’s ongoing production improvement and expansion plans for the Atrush block and is a testimony to the effort, professionalism, and commitment to deliver safe and efficient operations in Iraq.

The current rate of gross production at the Atrush block is approximately 34,000 barrels of oil per day, which is line with the company’s targets for Q2 2019. The increase in production was largely due to new wells coming on stream and the impact of de-bottlenecking work over the past few months, which has increased the capacity of volumes handled by the production facility.

The facility has continued to meet targets at minimal spend and is a result of a focus on integrated planning and optimization.

Speaking on the milestone, TAQA Chief Executive Officer Saeed Al Dhaheri said:

This significant achievement is a direct result of our Iraq team’s technical expertise and strategic planning efforts. As a global energy player with operations spanning four continents, our operations in Iraq have allowed us to strengthen our expertise as a leading developer of greenfield projects.

“We look forward to building on this achievement to continue to deliver energy to our strategic partners in the Kurdistan region, and to continue to forge strong relationships with local communities around the Atrush block.”

AbdulKhaliq Al Ameri, Managing Director of TAQA Iraq, added:

“Our focus for the past two years has been to improve the value of our asset while ensuring cost-optimization and uphold our commitment to health and safety. I am particularly proud of our team, which comprises more than 300 people, many of whom are from the Kurdistan region. This achievement is a result of their hard work and dedication to TAQA’s vision.”

The Atrush field is located 85 km northwest of Erbil and is one of the largest new oil developments in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The field was first discovered in 2011 and production started in 2017. In its two years of production, the Atrush field has produced of 17 million barrels of oil, with increasing efficiency.

In May 2019, TAQA Iraq completed the acquisition of an additional 7.5% working interest in the Atrush block from Marathon Oil KDV B.V. With this acquisition, TAQA Iraq’s working interest in the Atrush block increased from 39.9% to 47.4% and represents an AED 116 million addition to the company’s assets.

TAQA Iraq is the operator of the Atrush block and has a 47.4% working interest under the Atrush block Production Sharing Contract. TAQA Iraq’s partners in the project are the Kurdistan Regional Government (25%) and General Explorations Partners, Inc. (27.6%).

(Source: TAQA)

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

 Oil, budgets, Kirkuk still nag Baghdad-Erbil relations

Meetings last month between representatives of Iraq’s federal government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil failed to produce any clear resolutions of their ongoing differences.

A high-level delegation from the Baghdad government visited Erbil on July 25 for talks with the newly elected government there. Discussions focused on KRG oil exports, its share of the federal budget and control of disputed, oil-rich Kirkuk.

The Baghdad representatives included Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban and Finance Minister Fouad Hussein, national security adviser Faleh al-Fayadh and the director of the prime minister’s office, Mohammed al-Hashemi.

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By John Lee.

A Scottish sweet manufacturer is reportedly seeing sales of its fudge and toffee surge in Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to a BBC report, Golden Casket linked up with Sulaymaniyah-based businessman Farhad Haseb to sell the confectionery to upmarket stores in Erbil and Dohuk, as well as other towns and cities in the region.

The holiday of Eid al-Adha has proved to be a strong driver of sales for the business, with Iraq now being Golden Casket’s third biggest export market, after America and Ireland.

More here.

(Source: BBC)

The Protection Cluster in Iraq launched a new service mapping tool “Services Advisor Platform”, which is ready to use.

The tool displays 252 service locations across Iraq for over 50 NGOs and UN agencies providing General Protection, GBV, Child Protection, HLP and Mine Action services.

The main page of this tool can be accessed through the following link – https://iraq.servicesadvisor.org/#/. the services can be filtered by service, location, organization and type of referral (as explained in the this screenshot).

In the coming weeks, the Protection Cluster will conduct additional training sessions on how to upload and use the Platform in five governorates (Baghdad, Anbar, Salah Al-Din, Kerbala and Erbil). Partners who would like to participate and add their services are kindly requested to register to the sessions through the registration link as indicated in this invitation letter.

Partners interested can also reference to:

(Source: Protection Cluster)

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

It has been five years since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) was defeated in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

The area has been stable since then, but it has struggled economically.

There are 1.4 million people working in the government and public sector in the semi-autonomous region. They watched their paychecks shrink or disappear, beginning in 2014.

That was when the war with ISIL began, the price of oil plummeted and the federal government of Iraq cut budget payments to the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Austerity measures were implemented and workers paid the price with reduced salaries.

However, following the formation of a new government this year, many people are hoping that this is starting to change.

Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim reports from Erbil:

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

With the economy in Iran suffering from US sanctions, many Iranian Kurds are crossing the border to find work in Kurdish Iraq, a semiautonomous region in the northern part of the neighbouring country.

The common language makes it easier for them to pick up part-time jobs and return home with money for their families.

Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim reports from Erbil:

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

With the economy in Iran suffering from US sanctions, many Iranian Kurds are crossing the border to find work in Kurdish Iraq, a semiautonomous region in the northern part of the neighbouring country.

The common language makes it easier for them to pick up part-time jobs and return home with money for their families.

Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim reports from Erbil:

By Dana Taib Menmy for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani presented his new Cabinet July 10, vowing to institute reforms and reinvigorate the semi-autonomous government in Erbil, Iraq.

Three main parties in Iraqi Kurdistan were able to reach an understanding on their ministerial nominations to finally form the new government: the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran (Change) movement.

Parliament now has confirmed 21 ministers for the Cabinet, though the controversial post of the natural resources minister remains vacant.

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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

President Nechirvan Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) left Erbil for the first time since taking office and headed to the Iraqi capital on June 20 to discuss several outstanding issues with the central government, especially KRG oil exports, the public budget and the situation in the disputed city of Kirkuk.

After meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, Barzani said they agreed to resolve outstanding issues based on the constitution and to convene a joint committee next week to negotiate oil, the budget, the peshmerga forces and Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, concerning a census in Kirkuk.

The most important issues addressed during the visit were Kurdish oil and KRG salaries. Baghdad has not yet received its share of KRG oil in about six months, but the federal Ministry of Finance continues to deliver salaries to KRG employees.

Click here to read the full story.