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Issue 854 - 30 May 2009

Maintaining security at MOO

Subscriber

Ever since five UK citizens were snatched from the Iraqi Ministry of Finance in May 2007 – they continue to be held by Iranian-backed groups – it has been passé to consider a ministry building as secure or Iraqi forces as entirely trustworthy. Nor are Iraqi security forces yet sufficiently polished to meet the rigorous security standards of western executives.

Iraq
Subscriber

Bid award ceremonies lasting two days will begin early on 29 June, drawing unprecedented numbers of IOCs to Baghdad to participate in a series of eight sequential bids for oil and gas fields. The round’s timing means that IOCs’ engagement in Iraq must get very real, very quickly, with this round of bidding expected to be followed by months of horse-trading over terms and farm-ins.

Iraq
Issue 854 - 30 May 2009

Into Baghdad: the BIAP run

Subscriber

Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) is used to VIP visitors from the US president to other foreign leaders and ministers, down to the ordinary dignitaries and senior businessmen. Even so, security is always a concern in an airport perched on the edge of Baghdad's 'Wild West'. The first and last step of the process at BIAP is landing and take-off, which present fairly manageable risks. Even so, the ride looks scary from the perspective of risk-averse IOCs.

Iraq
Subscriber

Kurdistan oil was set to start flowing through Iraq’s northern export pipeline as GSN went to press, a range of sources said, including to one of the international companies whose field is covered by a recent compromise deal between the federal Ministry of Oil (MOO) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s Natural Resources Ministry. And yet, thanks to a determination on both sides not to compromise on fundamental issues of principle, it is still unclear how the exporting IOCs will be paid.

Iraq
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Widening their scope of operations, Somali pirates are posing an ever greater challenge to regional governments. While energy producers are rethinking their export strategies, governments are concerned that the Horn of Africa’s instability will encroach on the Gulf region’s southern flank. Yemen is especially vulnerable as the collapse of export revenues piles further pressure on President Saleh. GSN analyses developments in the Gulf of Aden, Somalia and Yemen, and talks exclusively to the Southern Movement’s new figurehead Ali Salem Al-Baydh.

Somalia | Yemen
Subscriber

The collapse of energy export revenues is piling further pressure on President Ali Abdullah Saleh as the tribal and post-socialist wings of the southern campaign unite around a figurehead, Ali Salem Al-Baydh, who talked exclusively to GSN about the evolving crisis.

Yemen
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Heritage Oil Corporation’s announcement on 6 May of a discovery in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) zone, with oil in place of between 2.3 bbls and 4.2bn bbls, eloquently demonstrated why international oil companies (IOCs) from minnows to supermajors are prepared to take huge risks to participate in Iraq’s hydrocarbons sector.

Iraq
Subscriber

AIM-listed Gulfsands Petroleum seems well positioned to capitalise on Syria and Iraq’s political re-awakenings. Listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market, Mayfair-based Gulfsands Petroleum’s share prise rose by 2.7% on 24 April to £2.02 on news that its Khurbet East Field on Block 26 in Syria was larger than expected.

Iraq | Syria
Issue 852 - 02 May 2009

Major IOCs downsize

Subscriber

With the government still in limbo, and the financial crisis putting pressure on everyone, it comes as no surprise that major international oil companies are withdrawing staff and nearing ‘the end of their tether’ with Kuwait’s energy project delays, which in recent months has seen the cancellation

Kuwait
Issue 852 - 02 May 2009

Refinery to kick-start PF deals

Subscriber

The Jubail export refinery is scheduled to hit the financing market in June, “but will probably come a little later,” a leading regional project finance banker, who wished not to be identified, told GSN. The Jubail facility was estimated initially to cost a massive $12bn, but Saudi Aramco is seeking a reduction to below $10bn for the proposed

Saudi Arabia
Subscriber

Straitened economic times and the fall in oil prices are putting a strain on the development of Syria’s oil and gas sector. IOCs are cutting back on investment and licensing rounds have proved disappointing. But recent changes in the Ministry of Petroleum’s organisational structure show the government is thinking seriously about making its prospects more attractive to investors.

Syria
Issue 851 - 18 April 2009

Syrian gas exploration and production

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Russia's Stroytransgas plans to add 8m m3/d to production capacity from fields in central and northern Syria. The Abu Rabah gas field came

Syria
Subscriber

London AIM-listed Indago Petroleum has sold its 50% stake in Blocks 31, 47 and 43A to UAE-based RAK Petroleum. RAK Petroleum already held the balance of the interests and is the operator of the licences.

Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Indonesian energy firm Valco is at the heart of a $1bn investment in two coal-mining firms in a deal that shows Gulf SWFs are still hard at work.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 850 - 27 March 2009

Energy Pointers: Taqa, Oxy, QSTP

Subscriber

Taqa profits down as oil price stays low. Oxy deal to raise output. Qatar to build 100MW solar power plant

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Bahrain | Qatar