Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Back to business in Iraq?

Some progress in Iraq, as a deal is struck on the export of oil to Turkey

The Iraqi government is turning its attention increasingly towards issues relating to economic development, now that an agreement of sorts has been hammered out on future security steps, notably the deal struck over a timetable for US withdrawal. Oil remains on top of the economic agenda, with efforts now being directed towards bridging the gap between the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and the Baghdad authorities in their turf war about new field development. The government is also making moves in the telecoms sector, with new licences on the way, and addressing Iraq's chronic electricity shortages.

The latest progress in the oil sector occurred in late November, when the KRG's prime minister, Nechiravan Barzani, and the federal oil minister, Hussein al-Shahristani, agreed on the export of some 250,000 barrels/day of oil to Turkey from the northern Tawke and Taq Taq fields. These are operated under KRG-administered contracts respectively by Norway’s DNO and a joint venture of Turkey’s Genel Enerji and Switzerland-based Addax Petroleum. They are both to be connected to the main Kirkuk-Ceyhan northern export pipeline by mid-2009. ...