Thursday, 23 April 2009

It is the central government fault

Once again the Kurdish Natural Resources Minister, Ashti Hawrami, finds an opportunity to release his usual fiery statements and criticism against his counterpart in the central government, Hussain al-Shahristani.And listed reasons.

After hearing rumors of delaying bids to develop eight oil and gas fields, Hawrami found Iraq Oil Report a good place to issue his statement which came with a picture for him smirking.

He says Baghdad oil officials are acting un-constitutionaly and illegally and that they have to be punished because they are violating the constitution, neglecting the parliament approval, not inviting KRG to these negotiations and offering fields in disputed areas.

And finally he said that Baghdad's Oil Ministry wasted time over the past years as it didn't sign any contract yet, forgetting or trying to forget the security situation Iraq has gone through since 2003 which I personally believe that Kurds have in somehow a role in it.

And now he and other Kurdish officials are acting as Kurds and not Iraqis as trying to tell the central government that they can put the sticks in the wheel and blow up all their development plans unless they (Baghdad officials) recognize their illegal and unconstitutional contracts which they signed without consulting the central government or even their regional parliament and without any bidding process.

I think you, Mr. Hawrami, should answer all these questions before you accuse and threaten the central government and behave in a very arrogant way. You, the Kurds, are the ones who are squandering Iraq's oil resources in your region and derailing the development plans in other areas in Iraq at a time Iraqi people need what ever dollars from each barrel.

As an Iraqi, I can blame the central government for only one thing which is to give the Kurds the opportunity to flex their muscles to an extent they never dreamed of before.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Iraq's battered economy

It is Reuters' day as offering three stories on Iraqi oil and battered economy.

In one of them, Ahmed Rasheed reports Iraqi Oil Minister, Hussain al-Shahristani's reply to parliament's oil and gas committee on the multi-billion dollar natural gas deal Iraq signed with Royal Dutch Shell last year.

Al-Shahristani said the initial agreement would not allow Shell to set the price for gas sold within Iraq's domestic market.And The Associated Press quoted him as saying local energy demands would be the top priority and not the exports. [ENDLESS POLITICAL CONFLICT]

On the second story, Suleiman al-Khalidi reports that Iraq's budget deficit could soar to $25 bln (17.2 billion pounds) this year if oil exports stay at their current low levels. [EXPECTED AND THE WORSE TO COME]

The country's Finance Minister, Bayan Jabor, said the government is mulling new taxes and import duties to boost revenues. [OF COURSE THE ONLY ONE WILL BE AFFECTED IS THE NORMAL CITIZEN]

And the third was brought by, Mohammed Abbas, who also quoted Jabor as saying that the government is considering securing a $7-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to enhance its shaky budget. [BEGGING JUST STARTED]

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Well done guys...

This is the news I and of course all Iraqis really love to hear: Iraq Stock Exchange flipped the switch Sunday on electronic trading to ensure faster exchange and leave the outdated paper work, Sinan Salaheddin reports for The Associated Press.

Although the ISX is still not like others in the region and most important it is still a market where shares prices controlled by speculations rather than the companies activities, but it is a good step forward Iraqi shattered economy witnesses.

Today's event also sheds the light on a very important thing: places and fields , like ISX, where politicians are not involved see major leaps but places which are run by politicians never see any major development.

Well done for all those who are behind this achievement...Iraq's future depends on people like you.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Iraq suffers drop in oil revenues, exports

The Associated Press' Sinan Salaheddin went through Iraqi Oil Ministry's records and found that the country's oil revenues dropped by 57.6 percent and exports by about 100,000 barrels a day in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same period of 2008.

The revenues in the first three months of this year stood at about US$6.57 billion, with an average daily export level slightly over 1.8 million barrels.While the same period in 2008 witnessed US$15.49 billion in revenues and oil exports level was just over 1.9 million barrels a day, the records show.