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Iraq oil output surges despite turmoil Iraq oil output surges despite turmoil(0)

Iraq ramped up oil production to a 35-year high last month despite a worsening security situation and political standoffs in the country, but experts said more investment was needed if Iraq wants to realize ambitious output targets. CONTINUE READING

Oil majors rethink stake in Iraq oil and gas Oil majors rethink stake in Iraq oil and gas(0)

Iraq is emerging as one of the riskiest oil and gas jurisdictions to invest in, according to research house Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., a Wall Street investment management firm. CONTINUEREADING

L.C.Nøttaasen / Foter / CC BY
Iran, Iraq oil alliance talks may be premature Iran, Iraq oil alliance talks may be premature(0)

Hussain Al-Shahristani, Iraqi deputy prime minister for Energy Affairs’ recent comments on collaboration with Iran has stirred the hornet’s nest and may have made Saudi Arabia a bit uneasy. CONTINUE READING

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Saudi, Egypt, Iraq economies to lead MENA Saudi, Egypt, Iraq economies to lead MENA(0)

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq will be among the world’s 30 largest economies by 2028, according to forecasts by a London-based economic consultancy. CONTINUE READING

druidabruxux / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Fresh tensions, oil concerns grip Iraq Fresh tensions, oil concerns grip Iraq(0)

The recent spate of violence and an impending clash between prime minister Nour Al Maliki’s forces and Sunni rebels in Fallujah and wider Anbar provinces have threatened further instability in an-already violence-wracked country. CONTINUE READING

Oil output slowdown to hit petrodollar-reliant Iraq Oil output slowdown to hit petrodollar-reliant Iraq(0)

The Iraqi oil sector has been one of the great success stories of the past five years, rising by a million barrels from 2008 to 2012 to cross three million barrels per day. CONTINUE READING

TunnelBug / Foter / CC BY-NC
Mismanagement clouds Iraq development fund’s future Mismanagement clouds Iraq development fund’s future(0)

Iraq needs to enhance its wealth management policies, especially as the flow of oil revenues is set to fill the government’s coffers over the coming years, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). CONTINUE READING

james_gordon_losangeles / Foter / CC BY-NC
Iraq’s growth prospects should not only be about oil Iraq’s growth prospects should not only be about oil(0)

Remove oil from the Iraqi economy and you have a country that has weak governance, major insecurity and instability, fractious regional governments, massive corruption and high unemployment and poverty rates. CONTINUE READING

chrisdebruyn / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
When Baghdad, Erbil fail to see eye to eye When Baghdad, Erbil fail to see eye to eye(0)

Iraq continues to trundle along on the back of solid macroeconomics, but great political uncertainty remains. CONTINUE READING

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Iraq: world’s fastest growing economy Iraq: world’s fastest growing economy(0)

 

Elias Pirasteh / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Iraq will emerge as the world’s fastest growing economy in 2012 and 2013, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML).

The Wall Street bank’s data shows that among all the major economies it tracks, Iraq will be the only country that will post double-digit-growth in 2012 – clocking a 10.5% improvement in GDP this year. CONTINUE READING

Arab Countries In Transition Arab Countries In Transition(0)
freestylee / Foter / CC BY

Countries hit by the promising but disruptive Arab Spring will need financing to the tune of USD43-billion next year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). CONTINUE READING

Iraq: Making up for lost decade? Iraq: Making up for lost decade?(0)

Although many new pockets of oil and gas reserves are bubbling all over the world, international oil companies consider Iraqi natural resources as one of the most prized assets. CONTINUE READING

Kurdistan Photo كوردستان / Foter / CC BY-SA
4.5m MENA infrastructure jobs 4.5m MENA infrastructure jobs(0)
CharlesFred / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

One of the core reasons why Arab youth spilled on to the streets during the Arab Spring was their inability to get decent employment. Joblessness – which is attached to human dignity and viewed as a platform for many to further and better themselves in their country – drove many to orchestrate sweeping political changes in their own countries. CONTINUE READING

Big Oil’s Kurdish Ambush Big Oil’s Kurdish Ambush(0)

Total , Gazprom, Chevron and Exxon Mobil have all ignored Baghdad’s directive and signed deals with the Kurdistan Regional Government. What does it mean for Iraq’s energy sector? CONTINUE READING

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Kurdistan Photo كوردستان / Foter
Why Iraq’s oil auction failed Why Iraq’s oil auction failed(0)

Did Iraq overplay its hand in the failed fourth bid for oil and gas exploration with energy companies?  CONTINUE READING

Iraq to surpass Iran oil output, but faces Kurd problem Iraq to surpass Iran oil output, but faces Kurd problem(0)

It should be a moment of pride for the Nour Al-Maliki government. Iraq’s oil production crossed three million barrels per day – the last time production was so high was in 1979, when 3.49 million barrels per day rolled out of the country’s oil wells just as President Saddam Hussain came to power. READ MORE HERE

 

Middle East’s USD15-Billion SME Opportunity Middle East’s USD15-Billion SME Opportunity(0)

Around 11 million SMEs remain unserved or underserved in the Middle East, presenting a massive USD15-billion opportunity for the banking industry. READ MORE HERE

Exxon’s Kurdistan Exxon’s Kurdistan(0)

Why did Exxon strike a deal with Kurdistan at the cost of upsetting Baghdad? Because Kurdistan offered up one of the greatest oil basins in the world, roughly half the size of Abu Dhabi. READ MORE HERE

 

Which Country Will Suffer Most If Strait Of Hormuz Is Blocked? Which Country Will Suffer Most If Strait Of Hormuz Is Blocked?(0)

Which regional companies and countries stand to lose in the event that Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz? Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s takes a look. READ MORE HERE

 

S&P: Which Middle East Companies & Countries Will Suffer If Strait of Hormuz Is Blocked? S&P: Which Middle East Companies & Countries Will Suffer If Strait of Hormuz Is Blocked?(0)

It’s a crisis that won’t go away. While the region is no stranger to Israelis and Iranians trading insults and threats, Tel Aviv’s latest hue and cry over Iran’s nuclear ambition refuses to die down.

Recent bombing attacks on Israeli embassies in New Dehli, Tbilisi (Georgia) and Bangkok was blamed on Iran – claims denied by Tehran – have frayed nerves and the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did nothing to soothe them by attending an event that highlighted Iran’s “nuclear achievements” on Wednesday.

READ MORE HERE

Iraq Discloses Energy Export Revenues; Earned $41-Billion In 2009 Iraq Discloses Energy Export Revenues; Earned $41-Billion In 2009(0)

Iraq has disclosed detailed information about the US$ 41 billion in revenue it received from oil and gas exports in 2009. Iraq’s disclosure of the figures follows the country’s commitment to the EITI standard, the global standard for transparency of resource revenues. The revenues are published in Iraq’s first EITI Report, which detailed production figures and revenues from the sales of oil abroad in 2009.

Clare Short, Chair of the international EITI Board welcomed the report saying, “Through the launch of its first EITI report, Iraq has taken a significant step towards transparency in its all-important oil sector. With transparency of the payments for its oil and gas, Iraq’s citizens can see how much the government receives from the country’s vast natural resources and start to ensure that Iraq’s resource wealth is properly managed. Greater transparency will help Iraq overcome some of the many challenges it is facing”.
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Iraqi Oil Replacing Iranian Oil? Iraqi Oil Replacing Iranian Oil?(0)

Iran may not be able to maintain its oil output by 2016 due to sustained international sanctions, but Iraq should be able to step into the breach, says the International Energy Agency.

Adding to the alarm bells surrounding Iran’s oil production, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that there is a real danger that Tehran will not be able to maintain its oil output under the weight of international sanctions. READ MORE HERE

MENA 2012 Outlook: Oil Exporting Countries MENA 2012 Outlook: Oil Exporting Countries(0)

In the first part of the 2012 regional economic prospects, a look at oil-rich countries’ efforts to manage their citizens’ expectations, economic slowdown and regional and domestic political upheavals in the New Year.

The year 2011 was probably the most unexpected for the Middle East in decades with  not just the magnitude of changes unravelling in the region, but also the sheer number of those cataclysmic changes. READ MORE HERE

The Kurdish Conflict: The Real Challenge To Turkey’s Democracy The Kurdish Conflict: The Real Challenge To Turkey’s Democracy(0)

openDemocracy /Foter

By Alon Ben-Meir

In the wake of the Arab Spring and Prime Minister Erdogan’s championing of political reforms throughout the Arab world, it has now become more urgent than ever before to find an equitable solution to the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Short of finding an immediate resolution to this debilitating struggle will not only severely compromise Turkey’s suggested model of successfully combining Islam and democracy, but it will additionally bankrupt its moral standing as it willfully continues to discriminate against 15 million Kurds who represent one-fifth of its population.
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Ten OPEC Forecasts Ten OPEC Forecasts(0)
rickz /Foter

Read the ten major forecasts from Opec’s latest World Oil Outlook, ranging from the challenges and prospects for oil developers to the intense competition they will face over the next 25 years.  READ MORE HERE

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‘Mission Accomplished’ In Libya & Iraq? ‘Mission Accomplished’ In Libya & Iraq?(0)

By George Friedman

In a week when the European crisis continued building, the White House chose publicly to focus on announcements about the end of wars. The death of Moammar Gadhafi was said to mark the end of the war in Libya, and excitement about a new democratic Libya abounded. Regarding Iraq, the White House transformed the refusal of the Iraqi government to permit U.S. troops to remain into a decision by Washington instead of an Iraqi rebuff.
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Iraq’s Cancer Of Corruption Iraq’s Cancer Of Corruption(0)

Years after the removal of strongman Saddam Hussein, Iraq continues to struggle and show patchy progress. And while economic and political progress is wildly uneven, the cancer of corruption appears to be ever-present and is entrenching itself firmly in the political machinery of the country, undoing much of the painfully slow progress of the past few years. READ MORE HERE

Iraq’s Oil Services & Drilling Industry To Rise TenFold: Barclays Iraq’s Oil Services & Drilling Industry To Rise TenFold: Barclays(0)

Oil services and drilling in Iraq may only be currently a $600 million to $800 million market but there is  a good likelihood that it could develop into a $6 to $8 billion market, according to Barclays Capital.

“We believe the run rate by year-end will be close to $1.5 billion. There are about 30 rigs drilling currently and NGP believes the rig count could ultimately surpass 300 rigs,” noted BarCap. “The scope of work being performed today is largely limited to workovers, with most drilling campaigns yet to commence. The future of the market lies in the integrated services model, in NGP’s opinion and ours. Service companies are not looked at with the same disdain as oil companies; however, there is an intense focus on cost controls due to cultural mindset.”

BarCap believes Iraq represents one of the largest multi-year growth stories for the oil services industry this decade. Companies that are able to execute and mitigate the political and security pitfalls in Iraq will be rewarded in our opinion.

(c) alifarabia.com

MENA Needs 3.5 Million New ‘Affordable’ Homes, says Jones Lang LaSalle MENA Needs 3.5 Million New ‘Affordable’ Homes, says Jones Lang LaSalle(0)

The MENA region has a shortage of 3.5 million affordable dwellings, with Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Saudi Arabia suffering from the biggest shortfalls.

For all the boom (and subsequent busts) in the regional real estate markets, there remains a shortage of a little more than 3.5 million units of affordable housing in the MENA region, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, the real estate consultants.

The largest shortfalls are in the markets of Egypt (1,500,000), Iraq (1,000,000), Morocco (600,000) and Saudi Arabia (400,000), but other Gulf markets also face shortages, brought upon by a host of factors. READ MORE HERE

Global Petroleum Survey: Oil Companies See Iraq Fraught With Regulatory Hurdles; Qatar Tops Survey Global Petroleum Survey: Oil Companies See Iraq Fraught With Regulatory Hurdles; Qatar Tops Survey(0)

The Fraser Institute’s Global Petroleum Survey is the latest where super-rich Qatar beats its regional competitors’ as it pips them to the post as the Middle East’s most investment-friendly destination for petroleum exploration and development. READ MORE HERE

 

Opec 2011 Bulletin’s 18 Most Important Pages (In Charts) Opec 2011 Bulletin’s 18 Most Important Pages (In Charts)(0)

Opec’s annual bulletin reveals the changing dynamics of the energy industry and the key challenges facing both the producers and the consumers.

Click through the charts to find out more:

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Dubai Among 10 Sovereigns Most Likely To Default Dubai Among 10 Sovereigns Most Likely To Default(0)

Gulf states saw their default risks subside considerably during the second quarter as investors shrugged off the Arab Spring and focused on the troubled EU states. Still, Dubai remained among the list of sovereigns most likely to default.

Dubai, which was ranked as the 7th most risky sovereign in the first quarter, is now at the edge of the list of 10 countries most likely to default, according to data from the second quarter of 2011. READ MORE HERE

No Arab Spring Dividends For The Middle East? No Arab Spring Dividends For The Middle East?(0)

The Arab World’s tryst with democracy and freedom is unlikely to bear economic fruits, according to a study. Instead, we could well see a gridlock political environment and economic growth that continues to lag global averages.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) insightful study on how the Arab Spring initiative is likely to play out, suggests a 60% probability of a gridlocked political environment that is unlikely to result in realizing the aspirations of the region’s citizens. READ MORE HERE

Cast Your Vote In Arab Spring Awards Cast Your Vote In Arab Spring Awards(0)

Spring is nearly six months old. It is time to take stock, remember those who lost their lives and continue to fight, and hand out some well-deserved awards to the key players.

The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, asked the rhetorical question ‘What Country Handled Arab Spring The Best? His own answer: Morocco.

But he left the discussion at that. Given that the Arab Spring is just about six months old, alifarabia.com was inspired to take stock of how the various countries have handled a revolution that has smashed Middle East dogmas, broken the will of Arab strongmen and given hopes to millions not just in the Arab World but also around the world.

The Middle East has seen more public participation in politics in the past six months than it has done over the past 50 years. Much to the shock of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak and Moamer Qaddhafi, the people of the Arab World launched a unique coup that they could not have fathom and never saw coming. These strongmen were looking to suppress indigenous Islamic movements, the radicals, Al-Qaeda sympathisers, the socialists, the Shiaas and the sufis. They were looking for tangible forces they could fight, and suppress and imprison and maim – as they had done in the past.

READ MORE HERE

Iraq’s False Promise Iraq’s False Promise(1)

Iraq’s energy sector is its economy’s lifeblood. But while Noor Al Maliki’s government has laid out an ambitious energy development programme, almost no one expect any of those production targets will be met. Can Iraq fulfill its potential and create jobs, ensure security and become one of the most important oil suppliers of the future? READ MORE HERE

High-Spending Gulf In Dilemma As Opec Loses Relevance High-Spending Gulf In Dilemma As Opec Loses Relevance(0)

With Opec seemingly irrelevant, the GCC is trying to find a balance between responsible crude suppliers and their own domestic needs. But, as Deutsche Bank warns, their own high breakeven prices are making them even more vulnerable to oil price shocks than before. READ MORE HERE

Saudi-Led GCC Aims to Spread Regional Influence Saudi-Led GCC Aims to Spread Regional Influence(0)

The potential inclusion of Morocco and Jordan in the GCC fold should be taken for what it is – a political move by the Gulf states to widen their sphere of influence in the region.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with it. The United States has done it with NAFTA, the EU has been handing out membership forms to many countries within their vicinity; there is of course the ASEAN, and even BRIC nations have recruited South Africa in their club – they are now called BRICS. Read The Full Article On Economonitor

Middle East Countries Fall In Peace Index Middle East Countries Fall In Peace Index(0)

Qatar, which has been beating its regional rival on economic performance, has also won the title of the most peaceful country in the Middle East North Africa region.

The Institute of Economics & Peace, bestowed the number one regional ranking to Qatar in its annual Global Peace Index (GPI) 2011. READ MORE HERE
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$1.6T Middle East Projects Are Delayed Or Cancelled: Citibank $1.6T Middle East Projects Are Delayed Or Cancelled: Citibank(0)

Close to $1.6-trillion worth of projects are cancelled or are on hold in the Middle East and East North African market, with $800-billion in the UAE alone, according to Citibank. The statistics are a reflection of the hangover of the leveraged days in the region when billion dollar projects were announced virtually every other day. Read More Here

Gulf Plus: The GCC Looks To Expand Its Sphere Of Influence Gulf Plus: The GCC Looks To Expand Its Sphere Of Influence(0)

Jordan and Morocco’s possible inclusion in the Gulf is a political move rather than an economic one, but there might be other – unlikely – candidates in the region far suitable for the purpose.

The potential inclusion of Morocco and Jordan in the GCC fold should be taken for what it is – a political move by the Gulf states to widen their sphere of influence in the region. Read More Here

Iraq To Post Double-Digit Growth In 2011, As Long As It Keeps ‘Arab Spring’ At Bay Iraq To Post Double-Digit Growth In 2011, As Long As It Keeps ‘Arab Spring’ At Bay(2)

Iraq’s strong oil revenues this year, coupled with a new $37-billion investment plan, will ensure double-digit hike in GDP this year. However, political and security issues could derail growth.

Iraq’s expected double-digit growth this year is a reflection of high oil prices more than anything else, but the government has a chance to build on this windfall with the $37-billion development programme announced in late April. Read More Here

S&P negative outlook on U.S. credit is a mixed bag for Middle East S&P negative outlook on U.S. credit is a mixed bag for Middle East(0)

Ratings agencies have an uncanny knack of turning up at morgues and pronouncing the death of the deceased, so it should have been no surprise that Standard & Poor’s did the ‘unthinkable’ and downgraded the United States’ long-term outlook to negative from stable. Read More Here

Global Recovery May Slip On High Oil, But Boost Saudi Economy: IMF Global Recovery May Slip On High Oil, But Boost Saudi Economy: IMF(1)

Oil prices will rise 36% in 2011, denting global economic recovery, warns the IMF. But that also means Saudi’s GDP will rise 7.5% – one of the highest among G20 nations. Read More Here

Middle East Sovereign Debtors Seen As Among Riskiest By Global Investors Middle East Sovereign Debtors Seen As Among Riskiest By Global Investors(1)

Saudi Arabia is no longer in the list of the ten safest sovereign debtors in the world, meanwhile Lebanon, Iraq, Dubai and Egypt all find themselves in the list of ten riskiest sovereign debtors, according to new data. Read More

Gold Reserves of Middle East & North Africa Governments Gold Reserves of Middle East & North Africa Governments(1)

Saudi Arabia’s gold reserves dwarf Libya’s hordings. Here is a selected list of countries with the biggest gold reserves, including almost every Middle East nation.

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Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Is Boon For Middle East Energy Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Is Boon For Middle East Energy(1)

As Japan’s nuclear meltdown puts the brakes on yet another power source, the world is looking at ME energy to fill the gap. Luckily, there is plenty coming on line, despite the region’s shot-term problems. Read More

Top 5 Middle East Oil Projects Top 5 Middle East Oil Projects(3)

Take a look at five of the largest oil projects in the Middle East, including one that could alleviate much of Bahrain’s economic problems… Read More

How Much Wealth Do Arab Rulers Control Directly? How Much Wealth Do Arab Rulers Control Directly?(0)

The rulers and royal families of the Arab World directly control more than $240-billion of investments in publicly-listed firms, surpassing SWF and government institutions, according to data. Read More

Reconstruction And Peace To Boost Iraq Growth: Citibank Reconstruction And Peace To Boost Iraq Growth: Citibank(1)

Citibank believes Iraq can shrug off its current turmoil to emerge as one of the world’s fastest growing economies in the world over the next 40 years. Read More

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Citibank’s Regional Dynamos Citibank’s Regional Dynamos(1)

Find out which Middle East countries make it to Citibank’s list of the fastest growing economies in the world. Hint: it’s not Qatar. Read More

Risky Sovereigns Risky Sovereigns(0)

Question: Which Middle East ‘country’ is most likely to default? Clue: It is not Iraq or Lebanon! Read More

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AlifArabia aims to provide analysis on Middle East and Africa business and political issues. It wants to see a thriving and dynamic Middle East that encourages corporate and government transparency, investments and policies that allow the economies to grow.

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