By John Lee.

The Iraqi Cabinet held its regular meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister, Adil Abd Al-Mahdi, at which it discussed a series of recommendations by the Ministerial Committee for Energy regarding a number of strategic projects aimed at increasing Iraq’s oil production and exporting capacities.

The Cabinet approved the proposed Iraq-Jordan oil pipeline, and the construction of offshore oil exporting facilities in Iraq’s territorial waters in the Gulf.

it also discussed a number of infrastructure and service projects and approved a proposal from the Ministry of Construction and Housing for a pedestrian bridge in the Gherai’at area in Baghdad.

The Cabinet also approved several measures to encourage Iraqi, Arab and international investment in Iraq, including further action to cut red tape and streamline procedures.

The Cabinet approved a draft law on the accession by the Republic of Iraq to the 1997 Protocol to amend the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (1973) as modified by the 1978 Protocol.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

By John Lee.

The Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament has reportedly called for the restoration of an oil pipeline between Iraq and Lebanon, which ceased operation during the Iran-Iraq war more than 30 years ago.

On the last of a four-day visit to Iraq, during which he met with Iraqi President Barham Salih, Nabih Berri is also quoted as saying:

“We discussed Lebanese investment in Iraq and especially the subject of the oil installations between Kirkuk and Tripoli, a topic we must return to.”

(Sources: Al Bawaba, Office of the Iraqi President)

Iraq announced on Thursday the completion of the “technical preparations” to extend a pipeline to export one million barrels of oil per day through Jordan, Petra has reported.

“The export capacity of the Basra-Aqaba pipeline, which runs through Jordan, is expected to reach one million barrels per day (bpd),” Iraqi oil minister, Thamir Al-Ghadhban, said in a statement.

Al-Ghadhban explained that Iraq had completed the planning arrangements of the pipeline’s construction work. “The arrangements included its [the pipeline’s] track, components, absorptive capacity, the mechanisms of linking it to the northern Kirkuk oil fields, funding sources, and implementation and operational means,” he said.

The Iraqi official stressed that his country was only depending on the southern portal city of Basra for oil exports, noting that the ministry has prepared “a major plan for its rehabilitation and development with the aim to increase its export capacity levels.”

The government, Al-Ghadhban pointed out, plans to establish three linked crude oil exporting ports.

Baghdad and Amman recently concluded six bilateral agreements to develop their relations, most notably in the oil and energy sectors. The two governments said the agreements aimed at “revitalising” their economies and strengthening ties between Iraq and Jordan.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi and Jordan’s Prime Minister Dr. Omar Razzaz have agreed a series of measures to increase cooperation between the two countries.

Following a meeting at the weekend, they announced that, among other steps, they will finalize the framework agreement for the Iraqi-Jordanian pipeline which will run from Basra through Haditha to Aqaba in the first quarter of 2019.

The full (unedited) list of measures outlined in their joint statement is shown below:

In the transport sector:

  • Opening the Jordanian-Iraqi border crossings (Al Karama-Trebil) in front of the (door to door) traffic to start the journey of goods that are perishable on 2-2-2019 and include all types of goods thereafter.
  • Granting facilities for imported Iraqi goods via Aqaba, whose final destination is Iraq, a discount of 75% of the fees charged by Aqaba Economic Authority.
  • Make an Agreement between the Royal Jordanian and Iraqi Aviation for mutual cooperation in various fields: (Code share).
  • Training and cooperation in all areas of aviation and air transport.

In the industry and trade sector:

  • Activating the Iraqi Cabinet decision for the year 2017 exempting a number of Jordanian goods from customs starting from 2-2-2019.
  • The two councils of the two countries decided to allocate the agreed land on the Iraqi-Jordanian border to reach a depth of 2 km on the two sides of the border and a length of 6 km for the Iraqi-Jordanian Company. By 2-2-2019, in preparation for the company’s presentation of the industrial zone to the private sector for operation and management on the basis of BOT.

In the financial sector:

  • Forming a technical and financial legal committee between the two sides to develop solutions to the outstanding financial files between the two countries.

In the energy sector:

  • The agreement was reached on the Jordanian-Iraqi electricity link through the network of interconnection, where the memorandum of understanding was signed in the presence of the prime ministers, in which the parties agreed to take the necessary measures to accelerate the exchange of electrical energy between the two parties through direct electrical connection to the electricity networks of Iraq and Jordan.
  • It was agreed to finalize the framework agreement for the Iraqi-Jordanian pipeline which will extend from Basra through Haditha to Aqaba in the first quarter of 2019
  • It was agreed that the technical committees will arrive to determine the details of transportation and pricing for the export of Iraqi crude oil to Jordan before 2-2-2019.

In the agriculture sector:

  • Training in the fields of optimal use of water in the fields of aquaculture, water harvesting, seed propagation, biological control, the use of environmentally friendly pesticides and the training of Iraqi environmental police.

In the communications and IT sector:

  • It was agreed to pass the Iraqi Internet capacity from Jordan in 2019 to support Iraq build the infrastructure.
  • It was agreed on transport Jordan’s experiences in the field of the financial technology to brothers in Iraq.

(Source: Media Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister)

Iraq is pursuing major infrastructure projects to add millions of barrels per day of export capacity, in an effort to keep pace with ambitious plans to raise production.

In the short term, the Oil Ministry is looking to jump-start work on a long-delayed pipeline contract with the Australian company Leighton Offshore.

Beyond that, Iraq is looking to commission new offshore pipelines and to build an artificial island, the latter of which is likely to be contracted to the Dutch firm Boskalis.

More details here from Iraq Oil Report (subscription required)

(Source: Iraq Oil Report)

By John Lee.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) has announced that the Kirkuk-Baiji-Baghdad pipeline is now operational.

According to a statement from the Ministry, the 16-inch crude oil pipeline was completed in record time.

Running for 180 kilometers, the pipeline will supply the refineries of Baiji and Daura, and the Quds power station in the north of Baghdad, at a rate of 40,000 barrels per day (bpd).

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

As part of the XXII St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Rosneft and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq signed an agreement securing the intention of the Parties to make a detailed analysis of potential gas cooperation options.

The Parties ensure stepwise implementation of the arrangements following the Investment Agreement signed at the XXI St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Rosneft will focus its analysis on how to participate in the integrated gas business value chain in the region in order to extract maximum efficiency from investments and operations in such areas as exploration and production, transportation and trading with especial attention given to partnership and project (third party) financing options.

Under the Agreement the Parties will elaborate an integral plan to progress the gas business within the Kurdish Region of Iraq. One step in this plan is the conduct of a pre-FEED of Iraqi Kurdistan’s gas pipeline construction and operation.

This is a key project to the monetization of the exploration and production opportunities Rosneft has been evaluating since signing a Gas Cooperation Agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq at the 10th Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona on 19 October 2017.

Following the outcomes of the integral development plan in terms of the attractiveness and efficiency of the options, Rosneft will decide on how to participate in the regional gas business.

(Source: Rosneft)

By John Lee.

Sharjah-based Ducorr has reportedly completed the design and deployment of a cathodic protection system for Shell’s Majnoon oil field.

Construction Week Online quotes company sources as saying that the flowlines were buried in very corrosive soil, hence the need for protection.

(Source: Construction Week Online)

By John Lee.

Iraq could transport up to a million barrels of oil per day through the Jordanian port of Aqaba (pictured), according to a report from The National.

Ali Nazar Faeq Al Shatari, deputy director general for the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) told The National:

“That project is still in place and we’re going to go ahead with it. We need another outlet for our crude oil,”

There has been little detail on the scheme’s timeline for completion or the scope of the project.

More here.

(Source: The National)

Iran’s Oil Ministry linked a 4-month delay in the implementation of an oil swap deal with Iraq to the Arab country’s unpreparedness and technical problems.

In a letter to the Tasnim News Agency in response to a recent report on the lengthy delay in implementation of the oil swap deal with Iraq, Iran’s Oil Ministry said the problem lies in the Arab country’s failure to remove the obstacles.

The slight delay in implementing the major deal on swapping the crude oil produced in northern Iraq is mainly because of unprepared infrastructures and some logistical deficiencies on Iraq’s part,” the letter read.

It said the oil swap operation will begin soon, dismissing reports on “oil diplomacy negligence” or secret issues being behind the delay.

In February 2017, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said it had signed a deal with Iran to carry out studies on the construction of a pipeline to export crude oil from the northern Iraqi fields of Kirkuk via Iran.

In December, the two neighbors finalized the agreement, according to which Iran would provide Iraq’s southern ports with oil of the same characteristics and in the same quantities as those it would receive from Kirkuk.

Between 30,000 and 60,000 bpd of Kirkuk crude will be delivered by tanker trucks to the border area of Kermanshah, where Iran has a refinery.

The two countries are planning to build a pipeline to carry the oil from Kirkuk, so as to avoid trucking the crude.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)