Iraq could have twice as much oil as estimated/ANBAR FIELD

Iraq could have twice as much oil as estimated/ANBAR FIELD

Postby salsinawi » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:11 pm

THE AKAZ GAS FIELD / ANBAR GOVERNORATE -IRAQ

IRAQ MINISTRTY OF OIL HAVE ANNOUNCED THE DISCOVERY OF A HUGE GAS FIELD IN ANBAR PROVINCE AT AKAZ FIELD .

THIS WILL MOVE IRAQ TO BE A GAS EXPORTING COUNTRY .

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http://www.ft.com/cms/s/f75476b0-ee11-1 ... 10621.html

Iraq could have twice as much oil as estimated

By Ed Crooks in London

Published: April 19 2007 03:00 | Last updated: April 19 2007 03:00

Iraq could hold almost twice as much oil in its reserves as had been thought, according to the most comprehensive independent study of its resources since the US-led invasion in 2003.
The possibility of a further 100bn barrels in the western desert highlights the opportunity Iraq has to be one of the world's biggest oil suppliers - and its attractions for international oil companies - if the conflict in the country can be resolved.

If confirmed, Iraq would be raised from the world's third biggest source of oil reserves with 116bn barrels to second place, behind Saudi Arabia, overtaking Iran.

The study from IHS, a consultancy, also estimates that Iraq's production could be increased from its current rate of less than 2m barrels a day to 4m b/d in about five years, if international investment begins to flow.
That would put Iraq in the top five oil-producing countries in the world, at current rates.

The IHS study is based on data collected in Iraq both before and after the invasion, showing the oilfields' reserves and production history. Its estimate of a further 100bn barrels of oil in the western desert is based on analysis of geological surveys.

Production costs in Iraq are low, particularly compared to the more complex offshore developments. IHS estimates that they are less than $2 a barrel.

But the development of the industry depends on an improvement in security.

Ron Mobed of IHS said: "Obviously the security situation is very bad, but when you look at the sub-surface opportunity, there isn't anywhere else like this. Geologically, it's right up there, a gold star opportunity."

Of Iraq's 78 oilfields identified as commercial by the government, only 27 are currently producing. A further 25 are not yet developed but close to production, and 26 are not yet developed and far from production.

Iraq's government has estimated that it would need $20bn-$25bn (£10bn-£12.5bn) of investment from foreign companies to get production to full potential.

Production methods have advanced greatly in the past two decades, and methods such as horizontal drilling have yet to be deployed in Iraq.
So far, the only new contracts for developments by foreign companies are the five signed by the Kurdistan regional government in the relatively peaceful north of Iraq.

Oil production in parts of the western desert region that are attached to Sunni Arab-majority provinces could help resolve some of the differences between Iraq's sectarian political blocs.




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LATEST DEVELOPMENT:


APRIL 2OTH 2007:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/f75476b0-ee11-1 ... 10621.html

http://www.asharqalawsat.com/print/defa ... did=415826


DECEMBER 05 2006:
http://www.alhayat.com/special/features ... story.html

APRIL 8 2006 : IT has been announced that commercial oil was struck in Dohuk area 470 km north west of Baghdad,quantities have not been declared . The oil was struck at a depth of 3200 meters.

http://www.kuna.net.kw/Story.asp?DSNO=849314[
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http://www.iraqdirectory.com/DisplayNewsAr.aspx?id=1111

###############################################http://www.kuna.net.kw/Story.asp?DSNO=849314http://www.kuna.net.kw/Story.asp?DSNO=849314

DNO Strikes Oil in Dohuk Province,NORTHERN IRAQ


A Comment on The DNO oil Venture in Dohuk Province ,N Iraq


Professor Sahil Alsinawi ,
Executive Director,
Middle East Seismological Forum (MESF)
http://www.meseiforum.net


It was announced in the news that the Norwegian oil company DNO has initiated a drilling activity in the northern Iraqi province of Dohuk. No specific area was given; no detailed technical information was given. However we can attempt to shed some light on the prospects of such activity without going into the geopolitical ramifications of the venture.

The prospects of Oil exploration are well known and the geology of the Iraqi territory lies within the Tethys realm and therefore any new drilling is not strange or unexpected. Needless to say that prior to any oil drilling operations, tedious procedures of geological and then geophysical exploration and detailed subsurface evaluation and interpretation are necessary. It is quite obvious that no such operations or activities were carried in the Dohuk region of Kurdistan in the last two decades and therefore all the data and documents are probably part of the Iraqi confidential data on the oil reserves of the country. The present day announcement for initiating drilling or “wild catting “ falls certainly within the above mentioned ramifications , noting that the agreements were drawn in 2004.

Iraq is one of the most hydrocarbon-rich countries in the Middle East, and in the future, it could become one of the primary oil producers in the world. Prolific source rock, reservoir and seal rock combinations occur throughout the geologic column.

The prospects in the Foothill Zone such as Taq Taq and Chemchemal, ranging in depth from 1600m for Tertiary reservoirs to 3000m of Cretaceous reservoirs are well known to experienced Iraqi geologists, but no high reserve potentials are expected. It could be speculated that the reserve potentials, depth and petroleum quality will be of the type experienced in previous fields of Ain Zala, Butmah and Qaiyara. The prospects in the Dohuk area, however, might be associated with older source rocks (i.e. Triassic rather than Jurassic and Cretaceous in Sulaimaniya area in the SE part of Kurdistan region of Iraq).

The sedimentary history of Iraq also exhibits a variety of ages in different areas as a result of a series of epeirogenic (tectonic) cycles, especially in the western and central parts of Iraq. Orogenic movements are more characteristic of the northern and northeastern parts of Iraq. Over the past few decades, geologists have studied the sedimentary history of Iraq, achieving a reasonably good understanding of basins evolution. Two features dominate the sedimentary record of the area: the Arabian Shield to the west and the Tethyan passive margin/Zagros collision zone to the east. A thick sedimentary succession (from Cambrian to Recent, 6-10km in Kurdistan region of Iraq), robust structures, good reservoirs, high individual well productivity, extensive oil reserves and low cost of production (~$1-2 per barrel) are some of the main characteristics of Iraqi oil fields. The differences in oil accumulations between the various tectonic areas of Iraq mainly relate to size and closure of structures, and also to reservoir development/facies distribution, but not to the absence of source rocks or seals.

Virtually all of the 440,000 square kilometers of Iraq lie within the North Arabian Basin. This wide and shallow vast sedimentary basin extends from the Arabian-Nubian Platform in the west to the alpine-folded Zagros Mountains in the east, had alternated between shelf and outer shelf and basinal deposition, thus bringing in juxtaposition source, reservoir and cap in close proximity. Most of Iraq’s proven oil reserves are distributed over 73 fields, nine of which are super-giants and 22 of which are giants. The remainder are considered large by world standards.





Ref:

Mohammad Al-Gailani http://comanche.thmedia.net/~salsnawi/f ... 846566fd9d

Jassim, S.Z ; (Pers. Comm.) saad@jassim1.fsnet.co.uk

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SCIENTIFIC COMMENTS

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Azizi Dr. Sahil;
Thanks for the e-mail.

I am not sure about the location of Tawke-1 borehole, but I suppose it is not far from Kirkuk field. As you know the depth of reservoirs in Kirkuk field is shallow ~150 m. within the Eocene Reef group (Euphrates Fm).However in Ain Zalah field there are reservoirs in both, the Tertiary Group as well as the Cretaceous where there are three pay zones one above the other with a possibility of vertical connection/migration between them. So, in the case ofTawke-1, they are talking about three reservoir zones which is possible to belike that of Ain Zala; and apprently they are extending into deeper Creatceous rocks. It is also possible that, this is an exploration well, so they are intending to have an idea about the source as well as the reservoir rocks.

Regards and good wishes.

Dr. Yawooz Kettanah
[KETTANAH@DAL.CA]
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PRESS REVIEW

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Kurdish Oil Deal Shocks Iraq's Political Leaders

A Norwegian company begins drilling in the north without approval from Baghdad.
By Borzou Daragahi
Times Staff Writer

December 1, 2005

BAGHDAD — A controversial oil exploration deal between Iraq's autonomy-minded Kurds and a Norwegian company got underway this week without the approval of the central government here, raising a potentially explosive issue at a time of heightened ethnic and sectarian tensions.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party, which controls a portion of the semiautonomous Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq, last year quietly signed a deal with Norway's DNO to drill for oil near the border city of Zakho. Iraqi and company officials describe the agreement as the first involving new exploration in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Drilling began after a ceremony Tuesday, during which Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdish northern region, vowed "there is no way Kurdistan would accept that the central government will control our resources," according to news agency reports.

In Baghdad, political leaders on Wednesday reacted to the deal with astonishment.

"We need to figure out if this is allowed in the constitution," said Adnan Ali Kadhimi, an advisor to Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari. "Nobody has mentioned it. It has not come up among the government ministers' council. It has not been on their agenda."

The start of drilling, called "spudding" in the oil business, is sure to be worrisome to Iraq's Sunni Arab minority. They fear a disintegration of Iraq into separate ethnic and religious cantons if regions begin to cut energy deals with foreign companies and governments. Sunnis are concentrated in Iraq's most oil-poor region.

Iraq's neighbors also fear the possibility of Iraqi Kurds using revenue generated by oil wells to fund an independent state that might lead the roughly 20 million Kurds living in Turkey, Iran and Syria to revolt.

Iraqi legal experts and international oil industry analysts have questioned the deal. Oil industry trade journals had expressed doubts that it would come to fruition.

Iraq's draft constitution, approved in an Oct. 15 national referendum, stipulates that "the federal government with the producing regional and governorate governments shall together formulate" energy policy. However, it also makes ambiguous reference to providing compensation for "damaged regions that were unjustly deprived by the former regime."

Iraq's Kurds have argued that the country's existing oil fields and infrastructure, such as those in the largely Kurdish cities of Kirkuk and Khanaqin, should be divvied up by the central government but that future oil discoveries should be controlled by each oil-producing region.

In his speech Tuesday, Barzani, the nephew of Kurdish politician and former guerrilla leader Massoud Barzani, eschewed the language of the law and couched the deal in political terms. He invoked the Kurds' years of deprivation at the hands of the Sunni Arab-dominated government of Saddam Hussein.

"The time has come that instead of suffering, the people of Kurdistan will benefit from the fortunes and resources of their country," he said during the ceremony in the western portion of Kurdish-controlled territory.

The Kurds, who during the last several years of Hussein's rule maintained sovereignty in northern Iraq under the protection of U.S. warplanes, made millions in transit and customs fees as the Baghdad government smuggled oil to Turkey in violation of United Nations sanctions. Since the end of the sanctions, the Kurds have sought ways to make up for that lost income.

The eastern administrative half of the Kurdish region also is rushing to sign energy deals with foreign companies without Baghdad's approval. The government of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, based in the city of Sulaymaniya, has signed an electricity agreement with a Turkish company and explored a possible oil deal with a foreign partnership near the city of Chamchamal, the site of several dormant oil wells.

During months of painstaking constitutional negotiations, Kurds insisted on the authority to cut energy deals without Baghdad's approval. Under the draft charter, the task of determining how oil resources will be allocated is left to the National Assembly that will be elected Dec. 15.

The language in the constitution regarding the power of regions to pen such contracts was a major reason that the vast majority of Sunnis voted against the charter in October.

The announcement of the DNO drilling took many Iraqis by surprise Wednesday.

"This is unprecedented," said Alaa Makki, a leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni Arab group. "It's like they are an independent country. This is Iraqi oil and should be shared with all the Iraqi partners."

Makki said Kurds were trying to have it both ways, controlling the Iraqi presidency and several powerful ministries in the national government while also trying to lay claim to extra-constitutional powers in the north. Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, is the Iraqi president.

However, Helge Eide, managing director of Oslo-based DNO, said he believed Iraq's new constitution gave the Kurdish north jurisdiction over certain drilling and oil exploration activities.

"That was clearly pointed out by Mr. [Nechirvan] Barzani," said Eide, who attended the Zakho ceremony.

Oil companies have become used to operating in hostile and unstable territories. DNO, founded 25 years ago, is considered an upstart in the oil business, with projects in Yemen, Mozambique and Equatorial Guinea, the site of a coup attempt last year, as well as northern Europe.

Eide said his company was more than willing to work with the government in Baghdad, though it had not yet signed a deal with the capital for oil exploration. In April, the company signed a deal to provide the Iraqi Oil Ministry with training and technology as "the first steps" to being invited by Baghdad, as well as the Irbil-based Kurdish government, for future oil and exploration work.

Iraq, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, holds an estimated 115 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, mainly in the south, according to Oil & Gas Journal, an industry publication.

That places Iraq among the top five nations in oil reserves. Iraq could contain significantly more undiscovered oil where energy exploration hasn't occurred, an area that stretches across about 90% of the country, the U.S. Energy Department said.

Iraq exports about 2 million barrels of oil a day, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris.
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Kurdistan strikes oil


Kurdistan Regional Government
November 29, 2005

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Nordic Representation is delighted to announce the inauguration of the first oil reserves in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The KRG Nordic would like to call attention to this historic day as the first drilling of oil reserves have begun in the province of Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan. This morning the KRG and its contractor Norwegian international petrol company DNO announced this momentous development in an inaugural ceremony held at the site of the source. The ceremony was attended by KRG Prime Minister Mr Nechirvan Barzani.
The contract signed between DNO and the KRG in June 2004 is the first of its kind in Iraqi Kurdistan. The agreement established DNO's mandate to develop and explore oil and gas reserves in parts of Iraqi Kurdistan.
The event is of evident economic importance to the Kurdistan region. It signifies the guiding steps towards further exploration and development of the extensive gas and oil reserves in Iraqi Kurdistan. Estimations according to Kurdistan Development Corporation (KDC) indicate that Iraqi Kurdistan has around 45bn barrels of oil reserves, making it the 6th largest in the world. Gas and associated gas reserves are estimated at an excess of 100 trillion cubic feet. As a result of the political and economic isolation of Iraqi Kurdistan under successive oppressive Iraqi regimes, these oil and gas reserves have remained largely unexplored.
This morning's events have opened up previously inaccessible opportunities for the establishment of cooperation between the KRG and contractors to further develop the unique economic potential available in Iraqi Kurdistan. The KRG's contract with DNO paves way for cooperation with foreign firms which can provide the necessary expertise vital to continue development in the field of natural resources
The general conditions in Iraqi Kurdistan are extremely favourable for such investments. The successful execution of the agreement between the KRG and DNO is unmistakably a product of the political stability and general security which prevails in Kurdistan. It is also, as DNO Managing Director Helge Eide stated, the "product of the excellent cooperation between KRG and DNO".
In the history of Iraq, state policies have directed oil revenues mainly towards military operations and state oppression rather than towards the benefit of the peoples of Iraq. Therefore, notwithstanding its economic significance, the development of oil reserves in Iraqi Kurdistan enables a fresh opportunity for the KRG to ensure that the revenues from production of natural resources are put towards sustainable development and the benefit of the Kurdish public. "All of Kurdistan's riches.in particular its resources of oil" emphasised Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani during the ceremony, "are for the Kurdish people". The KRG Nordic is also pleased to note the cooperative stance of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil regarding DNO's current development of oil reserves in Iraqi Kurdistan.

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DNO starts first oil prospecting in Iraq
11.29.2005, 08:34 AM


OSLO (AFX) - The Norwegian oil company DNO ASA said it has begun oil prospecting in Iraqi Kurdistan, in what Norway's media said was the first drilling by a foreign group since the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

DNO said drilling in the Tawke 1 well is expected to take 60 days to reach a depth of 3,000 metres in a zone that is believed to contain three separate oil reserves.

The company, which is the operator of the block and has a 40 pct stake, said this was the first oil exploration undertaken following a production sharing agreement signed with the Kurdish authorities in June 2004.


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Peter Galbraith: Divided, Iraq Can Stand

By Michael Young An interview with former ambassador Peter Galbraith

As the Bush administration faces increasing doubts about its performance in Iraq, its critics, spanning party lines, have sought ways to break the tedium of violence and redefine the American role in the country.

On the Democratic side, Peter Galbraith has played a significant part in trying to shape a consensus, particularly in a series of articles in The New York Review of Books. A former ambassador to Croatia who was deeply involved later in East Timor, Galbraith first gained prominence on Iraqi issues as senior advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee between 1979 and 1993. During that time he published reports on the Iran-Iraq war and on the Iraqi regime's brutal campaigns against the Kurds. Galbraith is currently writing a book on Iraq.

Reason: What do you think will happen next in Iraq, once the upcoming December elections take place on the basis of the new constitution?

Peter Galbraith: The results of the December elections are likely to resemble the January elections. The peoples of Iraq will vote their ethnic or confessional identity, and few will vote as Iraqis. The Kurds will vote once again almost unanimously for the Kurdistan list and the Shiites will vote for the religious parties. Last January, the Sunni Arabs expressed their identity by not voting, which many now realize was a mistake. They will now vote for Sunni parties, and especially those linked to the old Sunni-dominated regime.

At the same time, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and Ahmad Chalabi will get votes from secular Arabs, and perhaps some religious Shiites disappointed with the weak performance of the current government. Allawi, Chalabi, and the Communists have the only parties that are Iraqi?in the sense of crossing the Sunni-Shiite divide?and, even so, they don't have any support in Kurdistan.

Reason: As someone who has argued in favor of allowing Iraq's three main groups?Arab Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds?to go their separate ways in a newly structured state, do you feel the new constitution will allow this to happen peacefully, or will it lead to a violent breakdown, perhaps in the manner of Bosnia?

Galbraith: If Iraq breaks up, it will not be because of the new constitution, which merely acknowledges a breakup that has already taken place, and provides a structure for Iraq's peoples to coexist. I think the constitution can help avoid a Bosnia-type war because it resolves many of the issues?control of oil, the future of Kirkuk, power at the center?that could trigger a civil war. Iraq's peoples do not share common values, or even a desire to be in the same state. This constitution allows the Kurds to be secular and Western oriented, and the Shiites to have a pro-Iranian Islamic regime in the south. This is the only way to reconcile such disparate agendas within a single democratic state But, if Iraq does break up, the constitution's loose federalism could make the process relatively painless.

Reason: There have been many theories on how to absorb the Sunni insurgency. In the context of the growing mood of decentralization in Iraq, do you feel a new central government has the capacity to act decisively on this front?

Galbraith: The Sunni insurgency can only be defeated by the Sunni Arabs. The constitution allows them to form their own region and have their own military. A Sunni Arab regional government and regional military may be able to win enough support to take on, or co-opt, many of the insurgents. An Iraqi Army loyal to a pro-Iranian Shiite government (and led by Shiites and Kurds) will never be seen as a national army by the Sunni Arabs.

Reason: In recent weeks there have been moves in the United States to impose a withdrawal timetable on the administration. The pressure to reduce troops is growing. Where do you think these dynamics are leading, particularly as we approach the November 2006 U.S. elections?

Galbraith: The American people have lost confidence in President Bush and his administration's conduct of the Iraq war, and for good reason. It has been the most incompetently executed major U.S. foreign policy undertaking of my lifetime. The pressure for withdrawal will only grow, and may become a tidal wave by next November.

Reason: You've been close to, or advising, Iraq's Kurds for some time. Some would say that makes you biased when it comes to Kurdish autonomy, or even independence, at the expense of recreating a unified Iraqi entity. How would you respond to that?

Galbraith: I have great sympathy for the Kurdish people who have suffered horribly under Iraqi rule. But my analysis is based on the strategic interests of the United States. Every Kurd wants independence, and keeping the Kurds in Iraq against their will is a formula for never-ending violence and repression. A unitary Iraq is unstable and unachievable; a loose federation may work. But, if not, the U.S. should work for a peaceful separation.

Reason: Some say there already is a victor in Iraq, and that's Iran. Do you agree, and how far can Iran go in Iraq without provoking an Iraqi backlash?

Galbraith: The Bush administration removed Iran's arch enemy, Saddam Hussein, and installed Iran's allies in power in Baghdad. The most powerful political party in Iraq is the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), and it was formed in Iran. Iran created, armed and trained the Badr Corps, the armed wing of the SCIRI, which is the most powerful armed force in southern Iraq, and which has infiltrated the police and army. No wonder the Iranians are gloating.

Reason: Do you feel that an American and Iraqi escalation on the border with Syria is now inevitable, particularly in light of Syria's growing international isolation because of the United Nations probe into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri?

Galbraith: Syria did not want the U.S. to succeed in Iraq for fear that Damascus would be the next American target. Until things started to go so badly in Iraq, there were people associated with the Bush administration talking openly about "doing Syria next." But, the stakes have gone up since the Hariri assassination. If Syria continues to allow terrorists to cross its border into Iraq, it is taking a terrible risk.

Reason: Do you feel the U.S. and Iraq might use Syria's Kurds against Damascus as a means of pressure in the future?

Galbraith: No.

Reason: How will Turkey react to growing Kurdish autonomy, particularly if the U.S. pulls out and effectively lifts its protection from the Kurds?

Galbraith: Turkey's policy toward Iraqi Kurdistan so far has been realistic and forward-looking. Iraq's constitution creates a fully self-governing Kurdistan and includes a procedure to resolve the status of Kirkuk. Turkey accepts that it is the sovereign right of Iraq to organize itself as the peoples of Iraq choose. Turkey has chosen?very wisely in my view?to work closely with the Kurdistan Regional Government. It has also promoted Turkish business in Kurdistan, including a Turkish company that is developing the Taq Taq oil field under a contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Even Turkish hardliners recognize that Ankara has few alternatives. There is no military option. A Turkish intervention in northern Iraq would be much more difficult than its domestic 15-year war fought against the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), and would lead to international condemnation and possible sanctions. An intervention in Iraq would also kill Turkey's chances of joining the European Union. Many in Turkey now see Kurdistan as a kindred state?sharing Turkey's secular traditions and its Western and democratic orientation. Kurdistan is a buffer against an Islamic state in Arab Iraq. And, Turkey's policy of building close ties with the Kurdistan government gives it much more influence than a policy based on threats.

Reason: Among Democrats, you're listened to as a voice on Iraq policy; what are you advising decision-makers in the party?

Galbraith: The Democrats need to present a clear alternative to Bush's failed policy, and not just criticize. The Bush strategy in Iraq is based on illusions and wishes; the Democratic strategy should be realistic. The starting point is recognizing that Iraq has broken up, and then working with the constituent components. Both Kurdistan and Iraq's south are stable, and there is no need for coalition forces to provide security in either place. The U.S. should reduce its footprint in the Sunni Arab areas and focus on developing a Sunni Arab force that is willing and able to take on the insurgents. Because of the danger that terrorists might use the Sunni areas to stage attacks outside Iraq, the U.S. cannot withdraw completely from the country. But, we can reduce our forces quickly, keeping a rapid-reaction force in Kurdistan which is the one place in Iraq where we are welcome. We also need to step up our diplomacy in working to resolve issues?like Kirkuk?that could intensify Iraq's civil war.

Reason: Is Iraq better off today than it was under Saddam Hussein?

Galbraith: Yes. It is important to remember how cruel Saddam's regime was. Because Iraq is now free, the violence is constantly in the news; but over the past 35 years Saddam's henchmen murdered more than 500,000 Iraqis, with the world knowing little about it and remaining, alas, largely indifferent.

Reason: Finally, do you have any confidence that the Arab states might find an independent solution to the Iraqi crisis? If not, where do the Arabs come into any solution?

Galbraith: Within Iraq, the reputation of the Arab world suffers from the past silence of Arab countries when Saddam Hussein slaughtered Shiites and Kurds. Many Shiites and Kurds believe the Arab League favors Sunni Arabs, and it will be hard for the Arab states to overcome this legacy of mistrust. The recent Cairo conference on reconciliation was, however, a good first step. Perhaps the most useful thing the Arab world could do is to train a Sunni Arab military force that can take on the insurgents and terrorists.

Reason contributing editor Michael Young is opinion editor at the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut.



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http://www.kuna.net.kw/Story.asp?DSNO=834161

A CANADIAN OIL COMPANY IS PLANNING TO DRILL FOR OIL IN SULAIMANIYA AREA ,Northern Iraq
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LATEST DEVELOPMENT:

APRIL 8 2006 : IT has been announced that commercial oil was struck in Dohuk area 470 km north west of Baghdad,quantities have not been declared .

http://www.kuna.net.kw/Story.asp?DSNO=849314


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[size=24] Kurdish Ministers Woo U.S. Oil Firms



Regional Bid Angers Iraqi Government

By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 28, 2007; Page D01

Two top Kurdish leaders are a long way from the mountains of northern Iraq this week.

On Monday night, Omer Fattah Hussain was the toast of a dinner held at the 10,000-square-foot McLean mansion of Ed Rogers, a Reagan White House political director and current chairman of the lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers. In an opulent living room just off an art-filled entryway with a curved double stairway, the deputy prime minister of the Iraqi Kurds' autonomous region mingled with such luminaries as former assistant secretary of defense Richard Perle, former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and former White House press secretary Tony Snow.

Today, Hussain travels to Houston with Ashti Abdullah Hawrami, the Kurdish regional oil minister, to woo an even more important audience: U.S. oil companies.

After more than a year of political deadlock in Iraq over a national petroleum law, the Kurdistan Regional Government unanimously adopted its own petroleum legislation in August. In the past month, it has signed a dozen oil exploration contracts and hopes that foreign firms will ultimately invest $10 billion in the oil sector and bring 1 million barrels a day of new oil production from the Kurdish region over the next five years.
"Everyone is lining up . . . saying 'I want a piece of this action,' " said Hawrami, who hopes to complete negotiations on two more deals in Houston.

Hawrami said the contracts posed no conflict with Iraq's federal constitution. The Iraqi central government, however, is irate over the Kurdish contracts -- and the State Department isn't happy either. The Bush administration has been striving mightily over the past year to get a national petroleum law approved before international firms jump in.
In addition, a group of 60 Iraqi oil professionals signed a letter saying that the recent Kurdish contracts were a "dangerous step that has no legal or political standing whatsoever." Iraqi oil union leaders have also opposed the contracts.

Earlier this month, Iraqi oil minister Hussein Shahristani called the deals illegal. He warned that foreign oil companies that sign contracts with the Kurdish authorities without central government approval risk retaliation when seeking stakes in the bigger oil prospects in the southern part of the country. There are 51 known but undeveloped fields in Iraq.
Several major international oil companies have been talking to Baghdad about resuming work in the same giant southern fields where they had worked when Saddam Hussein was in power. And the central government indicated to them that it might rely on Hussein-era oil laws or offer service contracts if the new petroleum legislation is delayed, according to Kamal Field Aldasri, an economic adviser to the Iraqi government.
Aldasri said recently that the central government wants help in finding ways to boost output at the 27 operating oil fields throughout Iraq, which are producing well below their potential. The Kirkuk field, for example, used to produce almost 1 million barrels a day and now produces less than 200,000. The government's aims to boost production from the current 2.2 million barrels a day to 3 million, though it is running far behind schedule.
The major oil companies have been giving advice, reviewing data and training Iraqi oil workers -- without compensation. Royal Dutch Shell Group, for example, is drawing up a master plan for tapping for domestic consumption the more than 600 million cubic feet a day of natural gas now being burned off. Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and Total are also doing technical studies, industry sources say.
But given political uncertainty, legal disputes and security risks, the big international firms are not prepared to reenter the country with their own personnel.
An official of one major oil company, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid compromising talks with central or regional Iraqi officials, said: "Frankly, I don't think there are any opportunities at the moment in northern Iraq that are appropriate for a company [of our] size. . . . They're too small."
Smaller firms, however, have rushed to sign exploration and production contracts there. They include affiliates of Russia's Alfa-Access-Renovo group, India's Reliance Industries, the Korea National Oil Corp. and Austria's major oil firm, OMV.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/27/AR2007112702356.html
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