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Oil and Gas draft law back on tables- Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Kurdish Globe

Both ministers agreed the meeting had been positive

Last week, the hall of the Iraqi Council of Representatives once again hosted the gathering of the high ranking energy officials from Kurdistan Region and Baghdad for choosing a draft oil and gas law to be approved.

Kurdistan Regional Government's Natural Resources Minister, Iraqi Oil Minister, representatives of the Iraqi political groups and a representative of the Kurdistan Parliament met to share ideas about the issue.

Although the decision of choosing the draft should be the authority and responsibility of the parliament's oil and gas committee, due to the sensitivity and political disagreement about it, the committee cannot make such a decision without a political agreement and a green light from the political groups.

Qassim Mohammed, decision-maker at the Iraqi parliament's oil and gas committee, says "we don't see this as interference in the parliament's work and we thank them for assisting us in resolving this issue."

Both ministers agreed the meeting had been positive and were hopeful that they would have positive results.

Ashti Hawrami, KRG Minister of Natural Resources announced in a press conference that Baghdad would transfer the funds to KRG related to the payment of the oil companies producing oil in the region.

Baghdad had accumulated debts of IQD 1.5 trillion (approximately US$1.25 billion) for the region's oil producers. However, this crisis was relived on September 13th after Erbil and Baghdad signed a 9-article agreement for ending the problems.

According to the agreement Baghdad would release the payment to the KRG and the latter would resume its exports and increase the amounts as well.

Following this agreement Baghdad release part of the payments and KRG increased the exports from 140,000 barrels per day to 200,000 bpd.

Fazil Nabi, Iraqi deputy oil minister says that Kurdistan Region's oil companies payments for next year has been fitted into the country's 2013 budget draft, the amount of which is US$644 million.

Kurdistan Region has passed its regional oil and gas law in 2007 and since then it has signed some 50 production sharing contract with international oil and gas companies. This comes at a time when the Iraqi parliament could not pass the draft oil and gas law drafted the same year, and has since then been put on hold due to political disagreement between various political groups in Iraq and especially between Erbil and Baghdad.

Baghdad authorities have been claiming that natural resources have to be managed centrally and have labeled KRG oil deals illegal. KRG officials however, argue that according to the constitution Iraq is a federal country and federal regions have the right to manage their natural resources in the benefit of all the Iraqis.

Now the Iraqi parliament has three different drafts for oil and gas laws, one of which should be chosen and approved by the parliament.

Iraqi and Kurdish oil ministers have agreed to continue meetings till they make a decision in this regards.

IMF Press Release: IMF Approves Seven-Month Extension of Stand-By Arrangement for Iraq- Thursday, August 2, 2012

IMF Press Release: IMF Approves Seven-Month Extension of Stand-By Arrangement for Iraq

IMF Approves Seven-Month Extension of Stand-By Arrangement for Iraq
Press Release No. 12/286
August 3, 2012


The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on July 20, 2012—on a lapse-of-time basis1—a seven-month extension of Iraq’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), to February 23, 2013.
The SBA had been scheduled to expire on July 23, 2012. The extension, which had been requested by the Iraqi authorities, will provide them with time to implement the policy measures needed to complete the combined third and fourth reviews under the SBA. The extension will, in particular, provide time for discussions on fiscal policies for the remainder of 2012 and on measures to improve the functioning of the exchange regime.
The two-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) in the amount of SDR 2.38 billion (about US$3.58 billion), was approved by the IMF's Executive Board on February 24, 2010 (see press release 10/60). The IMF's Executive Board completed the first program review on October 1, 2010 (see press release 10/373), and the second review on March 18, 2011 (see press release 11/90). At the time of the second review, the program duration was extended by five months to July 2012, along with a rephasing of program disbursements based on a shift in financing needs. Total resources currently available to Iraq under the arrangement amount to the equivalent of SDR 1307.24 million (about $1.96 billion).
1 The Executive Board takes decisions under its lapse of time procedure when it is agreed by the Board that a proposal can be considered without convening formal discussions.

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Bankers are preparing the country’s entry of global banks a real incentive to invest- Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bankers are preparing the country’s entry of global banks a real incentive to invest

Translation: welcomed banking experts to enter the international banks of the country by opening branches fixed it, pointing out that it would pay the wheel of investment as well as the introduction of technology of modern banking.

announced that Arab banks to open branches in Baghdad and the provinces, while there are international banks other Kalawrobeh and American

Expressed willingness to open branches in Iraq during the coming period. The director of government banks in the Ministry of Finance Crescent Taan entry of international banks of the country by opening branches in a profitable business for both parties because the investment market in Iraq in need of capital-in the foreign banks as the latter aims to achieve profits.

said Taan (range): The sector banking system in Iraq is Ghaderaly keep pace with evolution in fact the investment witnessed in the economic sectors, pointing out that it is necessary to enter the banking world as it has large amounts of capital that will promote major projects as well as create competition with local banks in addition to training Iraqi personnel in place.

and called on the government to the need to legislate legal protection of these banks as well as tax exemptions.

to the counting banking expert as Abdul Hadi Central Bank Law New catalyst main entry of these banks of the country, pointing out that their presence will support expertise to a large extent through the transfer of technology advanced banking to local banks.

said Abdul Hadi’s (long): The banking system in Iraq has seen significant outage to keep pace with evolving global banking is the latest state of confusion in Iraqi banks is very large, pointing to the need to issue instructions by the central bank provides to direct banks to invest in addition to the adoption of methods of credit long-term.

For his part, said financial expert, Farouk Ramadan (range): The work of international banks in Iraq is a clear indication of the strength and durability of the Iraqi economy, explaining that he had not been affected by spring Arab.

He Ramadan: The cash reserve achieved by the Central Bank amounting to $ 60 billion has not been achieved on Iraq as well as to the seriousness of the decisions of the Central Bank increased the capital of the banks that have had a significant impact on the willingness of international banks to enter Iraq.

Meanwhile, the economic expert, Bassem Jamil Anton that the global crisis and economic recession, which witnessed some European countries during the recent period and the need of the country for construction, reconstruction and investment projects to make the banking world are racing to open branches in Iraq, noting that it seeks to take its role in funding projects and benefit from the profits realized, pointing out that it will be transferred international experience in banking to banking sector which leads to the development and promotion.

said Anton Iraq has elements of great economic is mineral-extractive existing in the ground such as oil, gas and phosphate, in addition to the investment environment fertile that are lacking most of the world, prompting the investment companies to come for the purpose of investment, bearing in mind that international banks started to open branches in Baghdad and the provinces.

He added that the world in a state of saturation for projects and service construction, there has been a worldwide economic depression, while Iraq because of war and the siege imposed on it in the nineties of the last century, led to an urgent need for infrastructure projects, service and health projects and processing power, making the eyes of corporations and international banks tend to Iraq out of the global economic crisis.
It is reported that Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and the banks of the Lebanese and Kuwaiti announced in the last period to open branches in Baghdad and the provinces, while there are banks, other global Kalawrobeh and the U.S. expressed its readiness to open branches in Iraq during the coming period.

http://bit.ly/RsZxSg

Import of 60 armored vehicles for the transfer of funds between Iraqi banks- Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Import of 60 armored vehicles for the transfer of funds between Iraqi banks

Translation:  Finance 60 US-made armored truck, to transfer money between Iraqi banks. The sources said the reporter Agency (dinars), "The Ministry of Finance has imported 60 trucks armored American made, dedicated to the transfer of funds between banks in Baghdad and the provinces, adding that the new trucks armored and can not be breached even improvised explosive device., The sources added, quoting a Force Personnel Protection and the Ministry of Finance he new trucks were imported due to the worn out old trucks. Iraq has witnessed many incidents of theft of money banking during the transfer process during the deterioration of security after the 2003 World especially in Alosth region and west of it. 

http://bit.ly/WRkMmL


http://bit.ly/WRkMmL

United Nations: Iraq Update June 2012, Security Council- Thursday, May 31, 2012

United Nations: Iraq Update June 2012, Security Council

MIDDLE EAST | Iraq

Expected Council Action
The funding for the activities of the High-level Coordinator who advises the Council on the Iraq-Kuwait missing persons and property issue, is due to expire in mid-June. The Council is expected to receive a report on the issue, pursuant to paragraph 14 of resolution 1284, and a briefing in consultations by the coordinator, Gennady Tarasov. The Council is likely to issue a press statement on the coordinator’s activities and supporting the extension of the coordinator’s funding.

The Council is also expecting the second report of the Secretary-General, pursuant to paragraph 6 ofresolution 1956, on the post-Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) mechanism. At press time it was not clear if the Council would consider the report in June.

The mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) expires on 28 July.

Key Recent Developments
On 10 April, Martin Kobler, head of UNAMI, last briefed the Council. Kobler stated that “Iraq’s political situation is heightening communal tensions in the country.” However, he commended “the Kuwaiti and Iraqi Governments for their efforts to improve bilateral relations.” 

In other significant Iraq-Kuwait related developments, Nasser Hussain Bandar, head of Iraq’s civil aviation authority, said on 5 April that Iraq had agreed to the request of Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways to operate flights to Iraq, more than 20 years after direct flights between the two countries were halted. 

On 16 and 17 April in Kuwait, a delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs transmitted Kuwaiti currency, documents, keys for safes belonging to the Central Bank of Kuwait, and 15 microfilm cassettes containing the archives of Al Anba newspaper, to the Kuwaiti authorities. On 20 May in Baghdad, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari met Tarasov and highlighted these developments. According to the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website, Zebari also highlighted Iraq’s “serious efforts to find the remains of the Kuwaiti Missing in Action” and his country’s keenness to getting out of Chapter VII.

On 29 April, Sabah al-Khalid al-Hamad al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended the second meeting of the joint Iraq-Kuwait Committee, in Baghdad. Following the meeting, Zebari told reporters that the two sides had reached important agreement on cooperation.

In other developments regarding the compensation, on 26 April, the UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) made a payment of $1.02 billion to six claimants. (The Geneva based UNCC was established through Council resolution 692 in 1991, to process claims and pay compensation for losses resulting from Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.)

In a 4 May letter to the President of the Council, the President of the Governing Council of the UNCC highlighted Iraq’s contribution to the Compensation Fund stating that “the outstanding balance of $16 billion could be paid in full as early as April 2015.” Furthermore, the letter noted “satisfaction with the continued transfer of 5 per cent of Iraqi oil revenues to the [Compensation] Fund since the transfer of the oversight over Iraqi oil revenues to the Committee of Financial Experts.” 

Human Rights-Related Developments
After a meeting in Baghdad on 25 April with Iraqi Minister of Human Rights Mohammed Shi’a Al-Sudani to review the situation of human rights in Iraq, Kobler welcomed Iraq’s intentions to place greater attention on social, economic and cultural rights, while also remaining committed to promoting and protecting political and civil rights. Noting that human rights are “a cornerstone of every democratic state,” Kobler said that UNAMI would continue its support to the Minister of Human Rights as a key player in ensuring that Iraq meets its international human rights obligations.

Key Issues
A key issue before the Council is the extension of the High-level Coordinator’s activities to help resolve the issue of missing Kuwaiti persons and property.

Another issue for the Council is whether the post-DFI mechanism is functioning in a satisfactory fashion.

Options
On Iraq-Kuwait issues the Council could release a press statement that:

  • acknowledges the recent positive developments;
  • encourages Iraq to make further progress on resolving outstanding issues (including borders, missing persons and property);
  • supports the Secretary-General’s intention to extend the activities of the High-level Coordinator for an additional six months or longer; and
  • reiterates the need to resolve outstanding issues between Iraq and Kuwait before the removal of any further Chapter VII measures imposed during the regime of Saddam Hussein.

On the post-DFI issues the Council could take no action at present while continuing to monitor the progress of the post-DFI mechanism until the audit is conducted. (The first report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 1956 [S/2011/795] notes the appointment of the firm Ernst & Young to conduct the 2011 audit of the DFI and its successor account.) 

Council and Wider Dynamics
Most Council members are overall pleased with the recent progress on Iraq-Kuwait issues. Several members feel that it is important for Iraq to make further efforts to fulfil its obligations to Kuwait but they do acknowledge that the recent developments on this issue are encouraging.

The US is the lead country on Iraq issues in general, and the UK is the lead on Iraq-Kuwait issues.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/2001 (28 July 2011) extended UNAMI’s mandate until 28 July 2012.
  • S/RES/1958 (15 December 2010) terminated the Oil-for-Food programme and established an escrow account to provide indemnification to the UN with regard to the programme for a period of six years.
  • S/RES/1957 (15 December 2010) terminated the Weapons of Mass Destruction-related Chapter VII measures that Iraq was subject to and urged Iraq to ratify the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA as soon as possible.
  • S/RES/1956 (15 December 2010) extended the Development Fund for Iraq and related immunities a final time until 30 June 2011 and affirmed that five percent of Iraqi proceeds from oil sales would continue to be deposited into a compensation fund after that date.
  • S/RES/1284 (17 December 1999) established UNMOVIC and requested the Secretary-General to report to the Council every four months on the compliance by Iraq with its obligations regarding the repatriation or return of all Kuwaiti and third-country nationals.
  • S/RES/692 (20 May 1991) established the UNCC and the UN Compensation Fund.

Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2012/185 (29 March 2012) was the latest Secretary-General’s report on UNAMI.
  • S/2011/795 (22 December 2011) was the first report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 1956 about the UN Compensation Fund.

Selected Letters

  • S/2012/332 (4 May 2012) was from the president of the Governing Council of the UN Compensation Commission to the president of the Council.
  • S/2012/309 (10 May 2012) was from Iraq’s Ambassador Hamid al-Bayati to the president of the Council, updating him on the handover of some of the missing Kuwaiti belongings.

Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6747 (10 April 2012) was Kobler’s briefing to the Council.

Security Council Press Statements

  • SC/10490 (15 December 2011) expressed the Council’s intention to continue funding for the activities of the high-level coordinator for missing Kuwaiti persons and property.
  • SC/10307 (30 June 2011) welcomed the Iraqi government’s assumption of autonomy over the DFI.
  • SC/10289 (22 June 2011) expressed the Council’s intention to continue funding for the activities of the high-level coordinator for missing Kuwaiti persons and property.

Other Relevant Facts

Secretary-General’s High-Level Coordinator for Iraq-Kuwait Missing Persons and Property

Gennady Tarasov (Russia)

Full Forecast

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Iraq reached an agreement worth $500 million to settle the debt with Kuwait- Monday, August 8, 2011

Iraq to reach an agreement worth $ 500 million to settle the debt with Kuwait

Arbil, March 14 / March (AKnews) - A media adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Wednesday that Iraq reached an agreement worth $ 500 million with Kuwait to settle debts dating back to the Gulf War prevented Iraqi Airways flights to the West.

It quoted "Reuters" Ali al-Moussawi of Kuwait visited by Iraqi Prime Minister, saying that "Iraq will pay under the agreement of $ 300 million in cash to Kuwait and will invest another $ 200 million in airline joint Kuwaiti-Iraqi."

He added that "Kuwait in contrast to halt legal action against Iraqi Airways."

In 2010 Kuwaiti lawyers tried to detain aircraft for the Iraqi lines in the first flight to London.

The theme of Iraqi Airways is part of a long-standing dispute between Iraq and Kuwait on billions of dollars in damages for invasion of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of Kuwait in 1990-1991.

Maliki arrived in Kuwait on Wednesday morning at the head of a delegation to discuss the outstanding issues between the two countries.

The debt on top of these files in addition to the demarcation of land and maritime borders and the issue of port Mubarak that created a kind of political tension between Baghdad and Kuwait during the past months.

But the visit comes after the countries have recently expressed their support for the resolution of disputes dating back to the nineties of the last century after Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Kuwait announced earlier readiness turn the page on the past and start a new page of its foreign relations with Iraq on the basis of mutual respect which positions شاطرها when Iraq over remarks by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Kuwait rejects Iraq would emerge from Chapter VII of the UN Security Council until the fulfillment of obligations owed with respect to three files is the issue of missing Kuwaitis and archives, as well as the issue of the demarcation of the border between the two countries.

It is possible to affect negotiations the two sides on the decision taken by the UN Security Council in June next on the possibility of the withdrawal of Iraq from Chapter VII.

Abdullah Sabri

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