Northern Iraq News

21 Mar 2019

Ferry Capsizes in Mosul, 80 Feared Dead

At least 79 people died when an overloaded ferry carrying families on an outing sank in the Tigris river in Mosul in northern Iraq, medical sources told Reuters on Thursday.Most of the casualties on the ferry were women and children who could not swim, said the head of Mosul's Civil Defence Authority Husam Khalil.He said the ferry had been loaded to several times its capacity. "It can normally carry 50 people. There were 250 on board before the incident," he said.Five ferry workers were arrested after late on Thursday, security sources said. Rescue workers were still looking for missing passengers.The boat was ferrying people to a man-made island used as a recreational area by families…

20 Apr 2017

Iraq's Oil Exports Fall in April Amid Port Work, OPEC Cut

Oil shipments from Iraq's southern terminals have fallen so far in April, according to loading data and an industry source, reflecting a temporary drop in export capacity and Iraqi efforts to comply with OPEC production cuts. OPEC's second-largest producer has curbed output this year as part of an OPEC-led supply reduction deal, although OPEC figures show that until March Iraq had delivered a smaller cut than other members such as top exporter Saudi Arabia. Exports from southern Iraq - the outlet for most of the country's crude - in the first 19 days of April averaged 3.10 million barrels per day (bpd), according to shipping data tracked by Reuters and by an industry source.

25 Jul 2016

Turkey’s Role for the Tanker Market

Map and Graph: Poten and Partners

Even though the coup attempt in Turkey  failed and the transportation situation normalized quickly thereafter, Poten & Partners take a look at the importance of Turkey to the tanker market. Turkey is not a large oil or gas producer; according to JODI its crude oil production amounts to about 48 thousand barrels per day (Kb/d) of crude oil and almost 400 million m3 of natural gas in 2015. The country’s oil consumption averaged about 927 Kb/d in 2015, about 1% of the global consumption. Neither of these statistics would make the country an important energy market player.

29 Apr 2016

Oil Rally is Not Just About Hedge Funds: Kemp

Oil prices are becoming dangerously overheated as speculators anticipate a rebalancing of supply and demand that has barely started, according to many oil analysts. "Even as oil rallies, analysts have barely nudged up their price forecasts as they worry that crude's recent gains might not be sustainable," notes the Wall Street Journal ("Analysts just aren't buying the oil rally", April 28). Many fear hedge funds are pushing up oil prices prematurely, which will lead to a renewed crash when the bubble bursts, as it did after the last big run-up in prices between January and May 2015. Hedge funds and other money managers have accumulated a record net long position in Brent and WTI futures and options, betting on a further rise in prices equivalent to 656 million barrels of crude.

02 Mar 2016

Insights: Edward E. Belk, USACE

Edward E. Belk

Insights: Edward E. Belk -  Chief, Operations and Regulatory Division Directorate of Civil Works, U.S. Edward E. Belk, Jr. currently serves as the Chief of Operations and Regulatory Division for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He also provides leadership and oversight for activities and programs within the Corps’ Lakes and Rivers and North Atlantic Regional Integration Teams. Selected by the Secretary of the Army into the Senior Executive Service in May 2012, Mr.

01 Mar 2016

TonenGeneral Imports Japan's First Kurdish Oil Cargo

TonenGeneral imported Japan's first cargo of Kurdish crude from northern Iraq in January, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region began selling oil directly to world markets in 2015 to get money for its survival and to fight Islamic State. Typically, Kurdish oil, exported via Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, has gone to Europe. TonenGeneral imported about 1 million barrels of Kurdish oil last month, classified as "export blend of Iraqi origin" in data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's (METI). The cargo was delivered to TonenGeneral's refineries in Kawasaki and Chiba, both of them near Tokyo, according to the source and Ministry of Finance data. TonenGeneral declined to comment on the deal.

06 Oct 2014

Crude Oil Markets Roiled by Sell Off

A sell-off that began last week continued to roil crude markets, which have been weighed down by worries of oversupply and lackluster demand, pushing Brent crude to a contract low on Monday. U.S. crude traded below $90 a barrel, despite a brief mid-morning rally, while Brent traded below $92 a barrel. Traders and analysts expressed uncertainty about how far global oil benchmarks could fall. "Supply continues to weigh heavy on the market and demand isn't keeping up with it," said Oliver Sloup, director of managed futures at iitrader.com LLC in Chicago. U.S. November crude was down 23 cents at $89.51 a barrel 11:35 a.m. EDT (1535 GMT). The benchmark had touched an intraday low of $88.76 a barrel at 10:38 a.m. EDT (1438 GMT) before rallying some 86 cents in the next 45 minutes.

06 Oct 2014

Oil Steadies Above $92 on Signs of Global Growth

Brent crude oil edged down but stayed above $92 a barrel on Monday after a week of sharp falls, as strong U.S. employment data and a rally in global stock markets pointed to stronger economic growth and higher demand for fuel. Brent fell nearly 5 percent last week, its steepest decline since April 2013, as a strong U.S. dollar, weak demand and ample supply weighed on prices. "It is no surprise to see the price stabilising after the massive sell-offs last week, but we won't see a hard price floor until OPEC indicates that it will cut production," said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. Brent for November was down 10 cents at $92.21 a barrel by 1355 GMT. The benchmark touched $91.48 on Friday, its lowest since June 2012. U.S.

04 Oct 2014

Oil Shaves $1, Retreats to Bear territory on U.S. Dollar Spike

Global crude oil prices extended a months-long rout into bear market territory on Friday, with Brent notching a new 27-month low as the dollar spiked following upbeat U.S. employment data and further signs of undiminished crude supply. The rallying U.S. dollar has re-emerged as a key driver for commodity prices in recent months, making raw materials more costly for most importers and reviving a once-popular spread trade. It reached a more than four-year peak on Friday after a report showing the U.S. economy created more jobs than expected last month, putting unemployment at a six-year low. Brent for November delivery fell by $1.11 to settle at $92.31, after earlier touching $91.48 a barrel, its lowest since June 2012.

23 Sep 2014

Iraq's Southern Exports Unaffected by Conflict

Southern exports average almost 2.60 million bpd; Exports close to record rate seen in May. Lack of Kirkuk northern exports limits overall supply. Iraq's oil exports from its southern terminals on the Gulf, far from the fighting in its north, have increased so far this month as bad weather and logistical delays subsided, approaching a record high reached in May. Three months after an advance by Islamic State into northern Iraq sent oil prices soaring to $115 a barrel, the fighting has not reduced Iraq's exports from the south, the main outlet for its crude to world markets. Exports from Iraq's southern terminals have averaged 2.58 million barrels per day (bpd), according to shipping data for the first 23 days of September tracked by Reuters.

29 Aug 2014

Iraqi Kurdistan Oil Shipments Reach 8.8m Barrels

Iraqi Kurdistan has shipped 8.8 million barrels of oil from the Turkish port of Ceyhan since May, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said, as the autonomous region employs new tactics to establish independent oil sales in defiance of Baghdad. Sources and energy officials had told Reuters on Thursday that the sales from Ceyhan via the autonomous regions new pipeline were more than 8 million barrels in 11 tankers. A U.S. court on Monday threw out an order to seize some 1 million barrels of disputed Iraqi Kurdish crude oil from a tanker near Texas, a move that could allow the cargo to be delivered and end a nearly month-long impasse. "The U.S.

18 Aug 2014

Turkey: Iraqi Kurdistan Exports Continue

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Monday 6.5 million barrels of Iraqi Kurdish crude oil had been shipped to world markets via Turkey's Ceyhan port since exports began and that a seventh tanker was being loaded at the terminal. Yildiz said crude flow on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline had been halted as of Monday due to maintenance work. Flows through the 120,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) pipeline began at the end of 2013 but the first cargo was not loaded until May. The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, whose peshmerga forces are being supported by U.S. air strikes in their battle against the radical Sunni militants of the Islamic State, has been in a long constitutional fight with Baghdad over independent oil sales.

11 Aug 2014

Brent Slips below $105

HFO: File image

Brent crude slipped under $105 a barrel on Monday, dropping from a one-week high hit on Friday, as U.S. intervention in Iraq eased concerns over the risk of disruption to supply from OPEC's second-largest producer. * U.S. Analysts have said that U.S. air strikes on Islamic State targets in northern Iraq over the weekend could help enforce stability in the country, curbing the risk of supply disruptions. Iraqi Kurdistan said on Friday that its oil output remained unaffected. "For this week…

22 Jun 2014

Israel Accepts 1st Delivery of Disputed Kurdish Oil

A tanker delivered a cargo of disputed crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan's new pipeline for the first time on Friday in Israel, despite threats by Baghdad to take legal action against any buyer. The SCF Altai tanker arrived at Israel's Ashkelon port early on Friday morning, ship tracking and industry sources said. By the evening, the tanker began unloading the Kurdish oil, a source at the port said. The Kurdistan Regional Government said on Saturday, a day after the news was first reported, it did not deal with Israel in the sale. "The KRG categorically refutes the claim that it has sold oil to Israel," a spokesman for the Ministry of Natural Resources said in an email.

25 Jun 2014

Iraq Strife Offers Little Upside to Depressed Tanker Markets: Analyst

Tankship bridge front: File photo

The situation in Iraq has taken center stage in the oil markets. Iraq is now in a state of sectarian civil war and the most likely situation is that the country will become mired in a protracted Syria-like conflict, with the population divided along ethno-sectarian lines. But this offers little upside for currently depressed tanker markets, considers PIRA Energy Group's Weekly Oil Market Recap. Iraq’s Baiji refinery is likely to be idle for a prolonged period, requiring Iraq to import additional refined products. Possible sources are other Middle Eastern countries, Turkey and India.

02 Jul 2014

Oil Falls Towards $111 on Libya Ports Deal

Oil fell towards $111 a barrel on Wednesday, its lowest in almost three weeks, on a possible substantial recovery in Libyan exports after rebels said they would reopen two oil terminals. Libyan rebels blockading eastern oil ports have agreed to reopen the remaining two terminals at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. The port seizures have crippled the OPEC producer's oil industry since last summer. If fulfilled, the deal would bring back around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil export capacity, although production would remain well below the total of around 1.4 million bpd. There have been repeated reports in the past that ports would reopen and production increase, but analysts said the latest developments were likely to have more impact.

29 Jul 2014

Update: U.S. to Seize Kurdish Oil from Tanker off Texas

U.S. authorities are set to seize a cargo of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan anchored off the Texas coast after a judge approved a request from Baghdad, raising the stakes in an oil sales dispute between Iraq's central government and the autonomous region. The tanker United Kalavrvta, carrying some 1 million barrels of Iraqi Kurdish crude oil worth more than $100 million, arrived near Galveston Bay on Saturday, but has yet to unload its disputed cargo. The U.S. judge's approval of the request from Baghdad deals another blow to the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) attempts to establish its own oil sales, which are seen as a crucial step in the autonomous region's push for independence.

09 Aug 2014

Oil Production gets Disrupted in Iraqi Kurdistan

Oil companies in Iraqi Kurdistan began withdrawing more staff on Friday in the siege of militants from the Islamic State to the capital of the region, with Afren became the first to announce that he was reducing their production. Shares in London-listed oil and operating in northern Iraq fell for a second day because the closure and evacuation of personnel at other sites became more likely in a region hitherto considered relatively safe compared to rest of the country. The United Islamic group considered non-Muslims and adherents of Shia Islam as apostates and in many cities that has taken control made a tough proposition: become, escape or die.

19 Apr 2012

Iraq – Swedish Transport Academy Inaugurated

Sweden’s Minister for Trade, Ewa Björling at the inauguration together with Kurdistan\'s Minister of Trade and Industry Sinan Çelebi (at left), the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Asos Najib Abdullah and the Governor Nawzad Hadi. Photo credit Scania

Sweden’s Minister for Trade, Ewa Björling and ministers of the Kurdistan Regional Government today inaugurated the Swedish Transport Academy in Erbil, northern Iraq. The training is targeted at young unemployed Iraqis with a secondary school background and offers occupational skills demanded in the transport sector. The establishment of the school is the result of close cooperation between Scania, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the United Nations, EF Education First and the Kurdish Regional Government’s Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

07 May 2014

Desert Ports for Ocean Carriers: New Analysis

Development of Iraqi and Iranian Container Port Throughputs, 2004-2013 (million teu): Image Drewry Maritime Research

ICTSI’s announcement earlier this month that it is investing over $130m in a long term deal with Iraq’s Port Authority to operate and enhance container handling capacity at Umm Qasr illustrates the opportunities ahead for ocean carriers, says Drewry's 'Container Insight Weekly'. Investment by major terminal operators in Umm Qasr shows growing confidence in Iraq’s container growth potential, whilst sanctions continue to bite in neighbouring Iran. Iraq’s sole container port already saw volumes jump by more than 65% in 2013, up to 570,000 teu.

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