Tuesday, 22 September 2009

It is still scandal, more to come

The Minister of Natural Resources in Iraq's Kuridstan Regional Government, Ashti Hawrami is now asking Norway's DNO International ASA to "find ways to remedy, and to our full satisfaction, the damage done to the KRG reputation," the KRG Web site says.

And in a bid to present himself as an honest man who raged by the reveal for his name by Oslo Stock Exchange as the secret middleman to sell DNO's shares to Turkey's Genel Enerji, Hawrami ordered the suspension of all DNO's oil operations in the region for six weeks until it finds these ways.And if not he will terminate the DNO's involvement in the region.

I challenge you that you will not to do it Mr. Hawrami.And it is still a scandal and I'm sure that more scandals will come soon.

Dear Mr. Hawrami, nothing in the Iraqi law allows you to do what you said it was "with the sole intention of helping DNO to raise the capital required for its projects in the Kurdistan Region" and "to be supportive of the companies working in the Kurdistan Region."

Simply put, you have breached Iraq's Penalty Law No. 111 in 1969 and the Civil-servant Disciplinary Law No. 14 in 1991.

Both laws say that any civil servant in the Iraqi government, from the lowest levels to the president of the state, has no right by any mean to practice any work outside his governmental job especially the commercial activities.

Such acts, which you described as to fall in your "official capacity as minister, and not on a personal basis", are considered by these two laws as either bribe or exploiting governmental position for raising money illegally. The penalty for the two cases could send you to the prison for up to three years.

And therefore, the regional parliament has the right now to summoned you for investigation, but just like other Iraqi officials I'm sure you will say "I'm not an Iraqi citizen, I hold another nationality so the Iraqi law doesn't apply on me."

Am I right?


Monday, 21 September 2009

Disappearing marshlands

Iraq's once-lush southern marshlands area is disappearing as it has reached almost the same level during Saddam-era, a report issued in a UN-affiliated Web Site says.

The UN IRINnews gives scary figures; from 8,350sqkm in 1973 to 835sqkm by 2003 due to upstream dam construction in Iraq, Turkey and Iran and Saddam's drainage operations to chase down Shiite insurgents.

By 2006-2007 only about 75 percent of the marshlands as they were in the 1970s had been restored.But now only 10-12 percent of the current marshland area is covered by water due to low water levels of the Tigris and Euphrates and below average rainfall.

What else Iraq is going to lose?


Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sorry for misunderstanding you

The Minister of Natural Resources in Iraq's self-ruled Kurdistan Regional Government, Ashti A. Hawrami, was not working for his pocket sake when acted as a secret middleman in a transaction of 43 million DNO International shares last year.But instead his intention was to be "supportive" as much as he can to the western oil companies working in the KRG.

That's the core of the Sept. 19th statementt made by KRG which written by Hawrami's senior adviser, Dr. Khaled Salih, to face the scandal that had come to surface a day before with publishing the results of a probe done by Oslo Stock Exchange which found that the deal was arranged the between Hawrami and DNO Chief Executive Officer Helge Eide.

Salih said facilitating the treasury shares transaction was a "sole intention of helping DNO to raise the capital required for its projects" in KRG. WOW!, IT SOUNDS THAT DNO KNOWS ONLY KRG AND ITS HAWRAMI IN THIS WORLD TO OFFER SUCH A HELP.

He added: "We wish to make it absolutely clear that neither the KRG nor any of its ministries, officials, employees or advisers has benefited directly or indirectly, through DNO or Genel Enerji, from the transaction or subsequent resale of the shares referred to by OSE." O REALLY!, GOOD TO TELL ME THAT...SORRY FOR MISUNDERSTANDING YOU.

I would like to ask Dr. Salih this question: does the the Iraqi law permit Hawrami to offer such a help? Only one law permits your master to do so; it is your law according to which you granted more than two dozens of production sharing contracts on no-bid basis to these companies.


Saturday, 19 September 2009

The secret middleman and Salih

The first scandal for the Minister of Natural Resources in Iraq's self-ruled Kurdistan Regional Government, Ashti A. Hawrami, has just come to surface, a report by Bloomberg News reveals.

The Sept. 18 report says that a probe by Oslo Stock Exchange found that Hawrami was the secret middleman in a transaction of 43 million DNO International shares last year. And the transaction was arranged between Hawrami and DNO Chief Executive Officer Helge Eide.

That simply helps to understand Hawrami's underground deals with the international companies that have secured lucrative deals in northern Iraq on no-bid basis. I'm sure that there will be more to come in the coming days or months or years about this man and his vague deals.

According to a Sept. 6 report by Reuters, Hawrami was expected to be reappointed in the yet-to-be-formed new KRG government by former Kurdish deputy prime minister, Dr. Barham Salih.

Salih now faces his first exam.


Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Iraq-Shell gas deal delayed or not?

Once again Iraqi Oil Minister, Hussein al-Shahristani issues statements differ from the ones his close aides issue and that could explain a gap between the politician and the technocrat inside the Ministry of Oil. Or what the politician and the technocrat want.

Few days ago, senior Deputy Oil Minister, Ahmed al-Shamaa told Reuters that the Iraq-Royal Dutch Shell final deal to make use of the flared gas in the south was likely to be postponed until after the Jan. 16 national elections, citing current political strife. It was planned to be finalized this month.

But al-Shahristani, a politician more than anything else, denied Wednesday that the multi-billion-dollar deal will be postponed, the Dow Jones Newswire's Hassan Hafidh reported from Vienna. "No," al-Shahristani told reporters when asked if the deal is going to be postponed. "We are negotiating with Shell," he added.

Al-Shahristani is in dire need to collect as much as he can from the "achievements cards" to face his political foes when summon by the parliament and to enhance his position when runs in the coming elections along with Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

While al-Shamaa, an advocate to the deal, is realizing that he deal will be dead if it will be negotiated by the current government.Al-Shamaa's comments also reflected he desire of Shell for not signing the deal with outgoing government.


Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Hussain al-Shahristani sounds to get important card

It sounds that Japan's Nippon Oil Corp. and its partners offer to develop Iraq's promising southern Nassiriya oil field, and may be to construct a 300,000-barrel-a-day refinery, has won the hearts of the Iraqi oil officials.

Reuters' Missy Ryan and Ahmed Rasheed reported today that the two sides are planing to finalize the deal next week when representatives from Nippon Oil Corp., Inpex Corp. and plant engineering firm JGC Corp. visit Baghdad.

It sounds that the latest visit by Iraqi Oil Minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, to Tokyo helped to push the negotiations with the Nippon-led consortium steps forward to leave Italy's Eni and Spain's Repsol behind in the race.

The battered al-Shahristani will likely move quickly with the deal to have a card to be used against his foes at the parliament as pressure is amounting to summon him and to be used also for his elections campaign.