By John Lee.

Iraqi power stations are using nearly 60 million liters of fuel per day, according to a report from Azzaman.

The Oil Ministry issued the statistics in response to complaints by the Ministry of Electricity, which has repeatedly blamed lack of fuel for power shortages.

Last month Iraq signed a multi-billion deal with Iran for the import of Iranian natural gas to feed two power plants in Baghdad and one in Diyala.

Besides major plants linked to the national grid, there are thousands of small generators across the country, which are put to work to once the national grid is off.

Private generators consume more than 8 million liters of gas oil per day, the Ministry added.

The fuel supplied to owners of private generators is subsidized since most households in Iraq either own one or are linked to medium size generators serving several households.

(Source: Azzaman)

(Picture: Taji Power Station)

Baghdad (newsletter). Member of the Economic Committee of the Kurdistan Alliance MP Jassem shankali, counterfeit currency has a great influence on the Iraqi economy, which will affect the value of the Iraqi dinar.

According to The Express Tribune, Iraq’s Kurdistan region is exporting crude oil by truck to an Iranian port for shipping to Asia, using a trade route that is likely to anger both Baghdad and Washington.

In a dispute largely over revenue sharing, Kurdistan’s crude exports through a pipeline controlled by the Iraqi central government, dried up last year. However, it is transporting about 50,000 barrels of crude and condensates per day by road from the landlocked region through Turkey.

Now, sources are reporting, that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has approved a second route for crude through Iran used previously only for petroleum products.

For the past two months, crude has been trucked from Kurdish fields over the border to Iran’s Bandar Imam Khomeini (BIK) terminal, 900 km to the south on the Gulf. Amounts are unclear but have been reported to be as much as 30,000 bpd.

One industry source in Kurdistan said the regional government in Arbil was anxious not to put out either of the region’s powerful neighbours, Turkey and Iran, in transporting the crude. “It’s a political compromise,” said the source, who declined to be identified. “They cannot ignore the Iranians and go all the way with the Turks. They have to balance.”

However, it is not clear what Iran, which faces huge problems in selling its own oil products because of international sanctions, gets out of the arrangement.

Oil lies at the heart of the dispute between the Arab led Iraqi central government and the ethnic Kurdish run northern enclave. At issue are control of oilfields, territory and crude revenues shared between the two administrations.

“We have made it very clear that the only acceptable option for oil exports is through the federal pipeline network,” a senior Iraqi oil official said. “We consider any other trade, whether it be through Iran or Turkey, as smuggling. It’s illegal.”

Baghdad claims sole authority over oil exploration and exportation, and in the past has accused the Kurds of smuggling crude via Iran and keeping the revenue for itself.

The KRG says its right to exploit and export the reserves under its soil is enshrined in Iraqs federal constitution, which was drawn up following the US-led invasion of 2003.

Arbil has already antagonized Baghdad by signing exploration and production deals on its own terms with firms including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total, and is currently laying the final stretch of an independent export pipeline to Turkey.

Fuel oil and naphtha have moved by truck from Kurdistan through Iran for years, because Kurdish domestic sales contracts allow the sale of these products outside Iraq.

Washington, a long standing ally of the KRG, has previously pressured Arbil to stop this trade as it tightens the sanctions imposed over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.

“We have advised Arbil in the past not to engage in business with Iran and will continue to do so,” a US diplomat said when asked how Washington would view the KRG’s official approval for crude exports through Iran.

Amounts of Kurdistan crude being trucked through Iran are likely to be modest when compared with its production capacity. Industry sources report that the oil is mainly from the region’s three biggest producing fields – Taq Taq, Tawke and Khurmala.

At Iran’s BIK terminal, the truckloads of crude are pooled in storage tanks and then pumped onto ships for export.

The tankers sail directly to Asia or to storage facilities at Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere in the Gulf, where the crude is kept in tank farms part-owned by European companies.

(Source: The Express Tribune)

Leaked U.S. cables: Iraq, excludes confrontation Kuwait and its relationship with Iran is classified as a threat can be treated Documents released confidential U.S. official leaked back to the year 2009 last Saturday, that the Iraqi government is the problems the border with Kuwait “will not be a motivation for the confrontation between the two […]

Kurdistan conclude an agreement for the export of crude oil to Asia via Iranian ports BAGHDAD / News: Sources in the oil industry, Wednesday, that the powers of the Kurdistan region of Iraq entered into an agreement with the Iranian authorities serving to allow the export of oil extracted from the territory of the region […]

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

On July 19, outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paid his last official presidential visit to Iraq, where he was received by Iraqi Vice President Khodair al-Khozaei.

Ahmadinejad’s first visit to Iraq in 2008 was of significant importance for Iranian and Iraqi parties, as well as for the US, which was holding talks with Iran at the time about Iraq and other issues. Back then, he was received by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani accompanied by then-Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih and a number of other senior Iraqi officials.

Ali al-Moussawi, adviser to the Iraqi prime minister, described Ahmadinejad’s visit as “a symbolic visit on the occasion of the end of his term, and it will be devoted to the visit of holy sites.” He added, “We do not expect that there will be any formal agreements.”

Moussawi also announced a planned visit by Iran’s incoming President Hassan Rouhani to Iraq, and expressed hope that a new chapter will start with Iran on the basis of common interests and mutual respect.

At the diplomatic level, this rhetoric conveys dissatisfaction toward Iran’s policies on Iraq under Ahmadinejad. What’s more, the anti-Iraqi government forces have expressed that Ahmadinejad is not welcome in Iraq. It is worth mentioning that the visit was scheduled to take place a year ago but was postponed several times due to the illness of President Talabani, according to a statement by Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Araghchi.

Key talks were held during this visit between the two parties on Syrian affairs, according to Iran’s al-Alam news channel. This was confirmed by several political figures from the major blocs in the Iraqi parliament, including the Kurdistan Alliance and the Iraqiya List.

By John Lee.

A spokesman for the Electricity Ministry, Musab al-Mudaris, confirmed on Tuesday that Iraq has signed a deal with Iran to import natural gas for power generation.

Associated Press reports that under the four-year deal, Iraq buy 850 million cubic feet a day of gas at international market prices, but UPI says no financial details were disclosed.

The gas will feed a power plant in Diyala, and two others in the Baghdad, generating 2,500 MW.

Javad Oji [Owji, Ouji] (pictured), managing director of the National Iranian Gas Co, said:

Construction of the 140-mile [long] 48-inch [diameter] gas pipeline is nearing completion and its extension in Iraq territory will also come to an end in the next two months.

(Sources: Associated Press, UPI, Dow Jones)

By John Lee.

Iran’s outgoing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is set to make a two-day visit this week to Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s spokesman said on Sunday.

He is expected to arrive in Baghdad on Thursday to meet with the Prime Minister.

According to a report from NCR-Iran, Ahmadinejad’s visit to Iraq in 2008 prompted widespread protests.

(Source: NCR-Iran)