By John Lee.

A new report from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy says that Iraqi hydrocarbons “will either be exploited by Iran and its allies or used for Iraq’s own benefit, transforming the country into an energy export hub between the Gulf states, Turkey, and Europe. The United States has a strong strategic interest in promoting the latter outcome.

Authors James F. Jeffrey, a former US ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, and Michael Knights, who has worked extensively on energy projects inside Iraq, suggest that the US should put its weight behind a north-south energy corridor in which Iraq serves as an energy hub between ever-friendlier Gulf states and Turkey, ultimately forming an export bridge to Europe.

They add that Washington should also support the Basra-Haditha-Aqaba pipeline project to bring Iraqi oil and gas to Jordan.

The full paper can be read here.

(Source: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil is to establish a Gas Pipeline Company (GPC), which shall perform the functions of the Gas-to-Power Aggregator, by the end of this month.

According to documents obtained by Iraq Business News, the Director General of the Gas Pipeline Company will be appointed by the Council of Ministers based on the recommendation of the Minister of Oil and the relevant deputy minister.

By June 30, 2018, the GPC is to set up a website on which it will publish a description of the entire network, “planned expansions of the network, monthly utilization of capacity by Public Sector Shippers in the most recent full calendar year and in the current calendar year through the latest available date, and anticipated utilization of capacity by Public Sector Shippers in the following three calendar years.”

The current operators of the network are the Oil Pipeline Company of the Ministry of Oil and Basrah Oil Company (BOC); it is anticipated that they will transfer their gas and NGL transportation activities to the Gas Pipeline Company.

The GPC will initially act as both Gas Aggregator and operator of the network. These activities will be separated over time; it is anticipated that the GPC will remain the exclusive operator of the network for a considerable period of time, although it may enter into joint arrangements with or obtain financing from private sector operators or shippers. Additional operators may in the future take responsibility for segments of the network.

Detailed documents can be downloaded here.

(Picture credit: Shana)

By John Lee.

Jordan has reportedly approved an agreement with Iraq to build a twin gas and oil pipeline between the two countries.

The 1,680-km double pipeline will pump one million barrels of oil a day, and 258 million cubic feet of gas, from Basra to Aqaba.

About 150,000 barrels of the oil from Iraq is needed to meet Jordan’s needs. The rest will be exported through Aqaba, generating about three billion U.S. dollars a year in revenues to Jordan, according to the ministry.

An agreement will be signed soon by the Energy Ministries of both countries.

(Source: Xinhua)

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)

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] has called on his Ministry draw up plans to build a new system to protect Iraq’s pipelines network using new technology including drones.

New monitoring systems and advanced cameras will also feature in the scheme, which is due start in the first quarter of 2018.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] has reportedly said that Iraq plans to build a network of pipelines to transport oil products throughout the country, as an alternative to expensive and hazardous road transport.

Reuters quotes him as saying that the network will be part of a strategic plan that includes pipelines to deliver both crude oil and oil products to neighbouring countries.

Earlier this month Iraq announced plans to build a crude-oil pipeline to Iran.

(Source: Reuters)

By John Lee.

Iraq has reportedly contracted Japan’s Toyo Engineering to help build a gas pipeline to Kuwait and a petrochemical plant as Baghdad.

According to a report from Reuters, the move will help Iraq to reduce flaring and finish paying the reparations owed to Kuwait for the invasion in 1990.

The project would allow Kuwait to reduce its dependency on Qatar as a supplier of gas; deliveries could begin as early as 2019.

It would also deal a blow to Shell, which aimed to be the dominant gas player in Iraq before relations with Baghdad soured following it’s planned exit from the Majnoon oil project.

Toyo told Reuters that talks are ongoing and a final decision has not yet been made.

(Source: Reuters)

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)

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

The Iraqi State Organization for Marketing Oil (SOMO) announced Nov. 2 that it is arranging with Turkey to allow SOMO to sell Iraqi crude from the disputed territories through the pipeline from Kirkuk to the Ceyhan Turkish port.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) used to export about 500,000 barrels per day independently through Ceyhan before the Baghdad operation to retake the disputed areas in mid-October.

It was not long after the Iraqi army took over the oil fields in Kirkuk in a military operation to “impose security,” as described by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, that the federal government resumed oil pumping operations.

The operations started about a week after the clashes between governmental forces and Kurdish peshmerga forces. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Oil rushed to increase oil production, and on Oct. 23, the ministry requested the help of the British petroleum company BP in increasing production in Kirkuk oil fields to more than 700,000 barrels per day. The ministry also announced the formation of a ministerial committee to advance the oil industry in the province of Kirkuk.

Kirkuk has more than 35 billion barrels in oil reserves and a production capacity ranging from 750,000 to 1 million barrels per day. The federal government seems determined to control the oil sources, especially in Kirkuk and the disputed areas. In light of this, on Oct. 19, the Iraqi minister of oil warned all countries and international petroleum companies against signing contracts with any Iraqi party without first consulting the federal government.

Russia’s Rosneft and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have announced the start of joint implementation of an infrastructure project for the operation of the oil pipeline in the Kurdish Autonomous Region.

According to a statement from Rosneft, its share in the project “may amount to 60%“.

The other project participant with 40% share will be KAR Group, who is the current pipeline operator,” it added.

Rosneft Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin (pictured) said:

“The entry into the infrastructure project will contribute to achievement of Rosneft’s strategic objectives and will enable Rosneft to enhance the efficiency of oil transportation to the end customers including supplies to the Company’s refineries in Germany”.

(Source: Rosneft)