Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday, that the fixed gas reserves in Iraq amounted to about 112 trillion standard cubic feet equivalent to 3.4 trillion cubic meters.

“Iraq has a potential gas reserves estimated at 170 trillion cubic feet,” Maliki said in a speech during the opening of the Second Summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Moscow briefed by “Shafaq News”.

Maliki pointed out that Iraq began the implementation of a broad program to develop the oil and gas sector that has resulted in “a significant increase in proven oil reserves of more than 150 billion barrels, accompanied by a significant increase in gas reserves”.

“We launched this year , the fifth cycle of licensing that target gas exploration in different parts of Iraq, according to the conducive conditions and arrangements for investors to enable them to develop direct commercial discoveries, as the latest studies notes the possibility of doubling the current gas reserves for it contain of potential reserves estimated at about 170 trillion cubic feet”.

“Developing the power of crude oil production capacity according to the average scenario will produce 9.0 million b / d and will be associated with gas ranging between 6-7 million standard cubic feet per day”.

“The international institutions such as the International Atomic Energy Agency predicts an annual growth of gas production in Iraq up to a minimum of 10% which is the highest growth rate among all the gas-producing countries,” Maliki said.

Source: Zawya

9 foreign countries where you can use US dollars

USA TODAYJul 3, 2013

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Iraq: Premier Nouri al-Maliki stated today that Iraq will continue the policies of open doors with world countries.

In a central festival on the occasion of lifting UN Chapter VII mandate from Iraq, he added that “it is a great victory to the Iraqi people”.

“Iraq has been changed from a threatening country to a participant in world peace”, he added.

Maliki stressed the importance of enhancing national unity and countering abnormal thoughts to preserve Iraqi blood and move towards building it.

He expressed thanks to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his efforts in this achievement.

Source: Aswat Al-Iraq

Iraq's Foreign Minister Zebari addresses the delegations the Conference on Disarmament at the UN in GenevaThe U.N. Security Council broughtIraqone step closer on Thursday to ending United Nations sanctions imposed on Baghdad more than two decades ago after former President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait In 1990.

The 15-member council unanimously agreed that the issue of missing Kuwaiti people, property and archives should be dealt with under Chapter 6 of the U.N. Charter – which urges countries to peacefully resolve any conflicts – instead of Chapter 7.

Chapter 7 of the charter allows the Security Council to authorize actions ranging from sanctions to military intervention if states do not abide by council demands.

The move by the council is a significant political boost for Baghdad as it struggles to restore its international standing a decade after a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq toppled Saddam in 2003.

The Security Council resolution recognized “the importance of Iraq achieving international standing equal to that which it held prior to (1990).” U.S.-led troops drove Iraq out of Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War.

“This is a new beginning for the relations between our two neighborly and brotherly countries,” Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters after the vote. “This is an example for other countries also to resolve their disputes and differences through peaceful means.”

The only issues linked to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait that remain under Chapter 7 are an arms embargo and Baghdad’s payment of $52 billion in compensation to Kuwait, diplomats say. Iraq still owes $11 billion and has said it expects to pay by 2015.

There are still a range of Chapter 7 issues imposed on Baghdad after Saddam’s ouster in 2003, diplomats say, including the freeze and return of Saddam-era assets and trade ban on stolen Iraqi cultural property.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended that the U.N. political mission in Iraq should take responsibility for facilitating the search for missing Kuwaitis, or their remains, property and the country’s national archives.

Source: Reuters

After years of sparring on how to divide the country’s oil royalties, Baghdad and the Kurds in northern Iraq are reported to have finally struck a deal on budget allocations, Deputy Prime Minister Rooz Shawees have said.

Shawees said the sides have agreed to distribute the hard cash the country earns from oil sales in light of the population density of its 18 provinces.

Oil revenues make the bulk of Iraq’s foreign cash earnings and the control of oil sales and their royalties has been a thorny issue between Baghdad the Kurds, who enjoy full autonomy in three provinces in the north.

Shawees said Iraq’s oil output has hit a record of 3.15 million barrels a day with at least 2 million barrels earmarked for export.

“Oil is the backbone of Iraqi economy and the foundation for the country’s reconstruction and its economic prosperity,” he said.

The sides have been holding intensive negotiations to solve their oil differences with Baghdad insisting not to relinquish its control of oil development, output, sale and collection of revenues.

But Shawees, who represents the Kurdish regional government in the cabinet, said Baghdad and the Kurds have reached an agreement to put their differences aside.

“The joint efforts between the federal government and (Iraqi) Kurdistan have produced a draft law on oil and gas under which the royalties will be distributed among the provinces in proportion to their population,” he said.

Source: Azzaman

Citigroup Inc. said it plans to open a representative office in Baghdad after getting approval from the country’s regulator, making it the first American bank to have a physical presence on the ground there.

Citi said it obtained preliminary approval from Iraq’s central bank to establish a Baghdad office. Until now, Citi served its Iraqi clients through its office in Jordan’s capital Amman. The lender is looking to open two more representative offices in Erbil and Basra at a later stage.

For Citi, Iraq represents the first new country it has expanded into since 2007, and the move is a show of confidence in Iraq’s economic prospects.

“Our economists have forecast that by the year 2050, the Iraqi economy should be in the neighborhood of $2 trillion with a 50 million population—that is an economy which is compelling,” said Dennis Flannery, who will be heading up the new office. He joined Citi in 2011 from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Citi is mostly active in Iraq through cash management and trade finance to multinational companies, including several major oil groups. But the bank is also looking to play a role in financing the rebuilding of Iraq’s infrastructure, part of which was ravaged following the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003.

Citi isn’t the first foreign bank to establish a physical presence in Iraq. Regional banks from the Persian Gulf and Lebanon were relatively quick to set up shop in the war-torn country in recent years. For international banks, the picture is mixed. HSBC Holdings PLC may be selling its holding in a local bank and exit Iraq, while Standard Chartered PLC is looking to open three new branches. Other lenders remain on the sidelines for now, waiting for the security situation to improve before forging ahead with expansion.

“We expect prosperity coming to Iraq and we hope that as prosperity comes to the country some of the political and security issues might be abated,” Mr. Flannery said. Citi will be operating representative offices in Iraq and not actual banking operations, which means, for example, that the bank won’t have to worry about providing security to money transports between branches.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Citi has a presence in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and Lebanon.

Source: Wall Street Journal