Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Energy News .




ENERGY TECH
Iraq: Exxon pulls out, Russia wants in
by Staff Writers
Baghdad (UPI) Nov 9, 2012


Iraq's strategic effort to become the world's leading oil producer has taken some bad knocks, with the defection of Exxon Mobil and other majors to independence-minded Kurdistan, and Wednesday's expulsion of Turkey's state oil outfit from an exploration deal.

But Russia seems more than ready to step in and fill the gap in foreign investment that Baghdad needs to rebuild and expand its oil and gas industry on which the country's future depends.

China, eager to add Iraq's oil to its ever-widening network of resource acquisitions in Africa and the Middle East, is also knocking on Baghdad's door to take over production deals awarded largely to Western majors in 2009-10.

Russia signed a landmark $4.2 billion arms deal with Baghdad in October during a visit to Moscow by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, driving to restore Moscow's influence in a region where the Soviet Union once held immense sway, pressed Maliki to allow greater Russian energy investment in Iraq.

Moscow media report Baghdad is considered inviting Russia's Lukoil and Gazprom Neft to take over Exxon Mobil's majority stake in the giant West Qurna 1 field in the south.

The U.S. company effectively relinquished its stake there when it signed up with the semiautonomous Kurds in October 2011 in a direct challenge to Baghdad's authority.

The Oil Ministry disclosed Wednesday that Exxon has informed the central government it wants to quit the $50 billion West Qurna 1 project in the south and sell its majority stake.

"Exxon's desire to pull out ... reflects the oil majors' growing disenchantment with southern Iraq and their contrasting enthusiasm for Kurdistan which has signed a flurry of landmark deals with Western energy giants," the Financial Times observed.

Lukoil, Russia's second largest oil producer, is developing West Qurna 2 with Iraq's state-run North Oil Co. Lukoil has a 75 percent share.

Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian natural gas giant Gaprom, recently signed two exploration contracts with the Kurdish Regional Government. Gazprom reportedly told the Oil Ministry it had suspended work with the Kurds but it hasn't confirmed that and may be hedging its bets.

On Wednesday, Iraq signed an oil exploration deal with Lukoil and Japan's Inpex covering 2,100 square miles in the southern provinces of Muthana and Dhi Qar. The two agreed to invest $100 million.

So far, the Western exodus from southern Iraq, where two-thirds of the country's oil reserves of 143.1 billion barrels and natural gas holdings of 126 trillion cubic feet are located, has largely benefited Asian oil companies.

Industry sources estimate that by 2020 Chinese companies will account for 2 million barrels a day of Iraq's production, pegged at 3.1 million bpd in September.

Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, said recently that "a new trade axis is being formed between Baghdad and Beijing."

The IEA predicts Iraqi production could hit 8.3 million bpd by 2035.

This relationship is part of a shift that is tipping the balance of power in the energy world" away from the United States to China, the Financial Times said.

When Exxon defied Baghdad and signed an exploration deal with the Kurds in October 2011, it triggered an exodus of oil majors from southern Iraq to the more liberal regime, and potentially more lucrative contracts, in Erbil, Kurdistan's capital.

These included Total of France and Chevron of the United States.

Royal Dutch Shell dallied with the Kurds for a while but eventually backed off breaking with Baghdad. It continues to operate in the south along with BP and other majors.

However, the disenchantment among the majors who signed fixed-fee, 20-year production agreements with Baghdad underlines how their patience is running thin over inept governance, suffocating bureaucracy and infrastructure delays.

These developments have heightened a long-simmering dispute between Kurdistan and Baghdad over control of oil exploration and production. This rift has immense political ramifications because the Kurds have long sought independence.

Oil exports from their own enclave would give them the economic basis for statehood that could signal the break-up of the federal state that emerged after the 2003 U.S. invasion.

It would also encourage other Iraqi regions unhappy with Baghdad's domination to seek more autonomy.

The most prominent is the Shiite-dominated south where most of Iraq's oil reserves lie -- right next to Iran.

.


Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ENERGY TECH
Veolia to pursue activities in shale gas sector: report
Paris, 08 Nov 2012
The French environmental services group Veolia unveiled a new UK contract on Thursday and said it would pursue work in treating water used in shale gas drilling, to compensate for growing competition in its core activities. Veolia said it would manage waste for the English city of Leeds in a deal worth 460 million pounds (575 million euros, $730 million) over 25 years, while chairman Antoine ... read more


ENERGY TECH
California readies for carbon plan

Australia launches energy white paper

Dealing with power outages more efficiently

US military mobilizes to help restore power to New York

ENERGY TECH
Veolia to pursue activities in shale gas sector: report

Exxon subsidiary detects Nigeria offshore oil spill

Iraq: Exxon pulls out, Russia wants in

Algeria to exploit controversial shale gas

ENERGY TECH
Scotland approves 85MW Highlands wind farm

China backs suit against Obama over wind farm deal

DNV KEMA awarded framework agreement for German wind project developer SoWiTec

Sandia Labs benchmark helps wind industry measure success

ENERGY TECH
EU probes subsidies for Chinese solar panel makers

Stadiums increase renewable energy use

Church of the Resurrection Benefits from Solar Energy

Silicon Energy Powers Municipal Buildings in Lindstrom

ENERGY TECH
S. Korea watchdog finds cracks in nuclear reactor

'Unplanned' shutdown at Romania nuclear power plant

Czechs plan to boost nuclear energy by 2040

Scandal prompts S. Korea to probe all nuclear reactors

ENERGY TECH
More Bang for the Biofuel Buck

Sweet diesel! Discovery resurrects process to convert sugar directly to diesel

First solely-biofuel jet flight raises clean travel hopes

Biofuel breakthrough: Quick cook method turns algae into oil

ENERGY TECH
China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

China to launch 11 meteorological satellites by 2020

China makes progress in spaceflight research

ENERGY TECH
Drifting word clouds may change perceptions of climate science

Australia to sign up for Kyoto 2

Obama hints at new drive on climate change

California is Home to Extreme Weather, Too




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement