Oil & Gas

Iraq asks oil companies to cut spending after drop in prices


Iraq asked oil companies to reduce their 2016 spending plans in the country by Sept. 30, citing lower oil prices and government revenue. The reduced budgets shouldn’t affect 2015 production, Abdul Mahdy Al-Ameedi, director of licensing at Iraq’s oil ministry, said by phone Tuesday, citing a letter that the ministry sent to companies. Iraq is now producing more than 3 million barrels a day, he said. “We’ve asked them in a letter we sent them to take into consideration the drop in oil prices and the low revenues of the government that may not cover their investments,” al-Ameedi said. “There was a stipulation that this investment reduction must not affect oil output from the fields that was in the 2015 schedule.”

Market info

Genel Energy agrees to buy OMV’s stake in Kurdistan field


Genel Energy has struck a deal with Austrian producer OMV to acquire its stake in a field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The company will acquire a 35% share in the Bina Bawi field with an upfront payment of $5million. Genel Energy said a contingent payment of $70million will be payable once gas production exceeds the agreed threshold volumes from the Miran and Bina Bawi fields.

Market info

DNO profits and production boosted in second quarter


DNO saw a profits boost in the second quarter of the year up from the previous three months. The Norwegian oil and gas operator said there had been an increase from $26million to $55million while its net loss was $40million for the second quarter. The company has also hit record production levels from the Tawke field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq with output averaging 153,346 barrels of oil per day (bopd).

Oil & Gas

Iraq PM visits oilfield where locals harass Lukoil


Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the supergiant West Qurna-2 oilfield on Tuesday after the state-run South Oil Company warned output could be affected unless protests by locals demanding jobs were defused. The SOC last week sent a report to the oil ministry asking it to defuse protests by villagers and residents of areas near some of the southern fields where most of Iraq's crude is produced, including West Qurna-2. Hundreds of locals recently blocked some entrance to Iraq's giant southern West Qurna-2 oilfield, operated by Russia's Lukoil, demanding jobs in a sign of the growing challenges facing foreign firms operating in the south.

Health & Safety

NOC engineer shot dead in Iraq


A senior official working for Iraq’s North Oil Company (NOC) has been shot dead – just a month after his predecessor at the state-run firm was killed. The chief engineer, Saad Ali Hussain, had been driving to his office in the city of Kirkuk when he was attacked.

Middle East

Kurds issue oil export threat


Iraq’s self-ruling Kurds are threatening to bypass the country’s central government and sell oil produced in the neighboring Kirkuk region in a dispute over revenue from crude sales by OPEC’s second-largest producer.

Middle East

Air Energi lands BP Iraq staffing contract


Air Energi has landed a contract with BP Iraq to supply personnel for its operations for the giant Rumaila and Kirkuk oil fields. The five-year deal is Air Energi’s biggest ever win in the region. The fields, which represent 40% of Iraq’s total production last year, are estimated to hold 20 billion barrels of reserves.

Middle East

Attacks in Baghdad as security forces try to repel oil refinery targeted by IS


Attacks in and around Baghdad have killed at least 14 civilians, as Iraqi security forces repelled an attack by the Islamic State group on the country’s largest oil refinery, officials said. Seven people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a commercial area in the town of Mahmoudiyah, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, police said. The car was parked in a mainly Shiite section of town near a bakery and went off as people were standing in line to buy bread. Another 13 civilians were wounded in the attack, police said. Hours later, another car bomb exploded in a car park outside Baghdad’s Yarmouk Hospital, killing four civilians and wounding 10, a police official said.

Other News

APR Energy extend Iraqi power generation contract


APR Energy has signed a contract renewal for its power generation contract in Iraq. The agreement will take the term through the end of 2015. The power plant has been in operation since 2012 and comprises six GE TM2500 mobile gas turbines capable of generating more than 1200MW of electricity.

Oil & Gas

Kurd oil producers resort to $30 sales as export income stalled


Foreign oil producers in Iraqi Kurdistan are resorting to selling crude at about $30 a barrel in the domestic market as the government hangs on to companies’ export earnings amid weaker world prices and a costly battle with Islamic State. “The government’s announcement was that there would be payments coming,” said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, executive chairman of Norwegian producer DNO ASA, said in an interview in Oslo. “That payment I think got disrupted because of lower prices and the resolution of the budget issues.” That’s forcing DNO to increase sales to the local market.

Middle East

Shell signs $11billion deal for Iraqi petrochemical plant


Shell has signed a deal with Iraq worth $11billion to build a petrochemicals plant. The agreement was announced by Industry Minister for the country, Nasser al-Esawi, who said the Nibras complex was expected to come on line within the next five to six years. The southern oil hub in the Basra region would make it the largest petrochemical producer in the Middle East.

Oil & Gas

Iraq raises Basrah crude price for Asia, follows Saudi lead


Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, raised the selling price for February shipments to Asia of its main Basrah Light crude by 30 cents a barrel, after Saudi Arabia boosted its pricing to the region. Iraq set Basrah Light at a discount of $3.70 a barrel to the average of Middle Eastern benchmark Oman and Dubai grades, the country’s Oil Marketing Co. said yesterday in an statement.

Middle East

Gulf Keystone Petroleum hits production target


Gulf Keystone Petroleum said seven wells are now producing at its Shaikan production facilities. A further well is expected to come online this month in the Kurdistan region of Iraq where operations are taking place. The company said total daily production has been gradually increasing since last month, with the company’s 400,000 gross barrels of oil per day target being reached shortly before New Year.

Other News

IS militants return to outskirts of Iraqi oil refinery town


Islamic State militants have returned to the outskirts of a strategic Iraqi oil refinery town after being driven out last month, officials said. Raed Ibrahim, governor of Salahuddin province, said the militants had fought their way to the edge of Beiji after three days of heavy clashes. He added that they were able to advance because Iraqi troops lack heavy weapons.

Middle East

Iraq cabinet approves lower spending plan on oil’s drop


Iraq’s cabinet approved a smaller 2015 spending plan than the government expected because of the collapse in oil, which provides most government revenue. The budget, based on a $60 a barrel price for oil, stands at 123 trillion dinars ($103 billion), Saad Al-Hadithi, spokesman for the office of the prime minister, said. The budget deficit was set at 23 trillion dinars and total revenue at 99.8 trillion dinars, including oil revenue of 84 trillion dinars, Obaid Mahal, deputy secretary general of the cabinet, said.