News / Middle East

Iraq: Syria War Spillover Hinders Oilfields, Pipelines

Reuters
Spillover attacks from the civil war in Syria have hindered development of Iraq's gas and oil reserves, and a major pipeline to the Mediterranean has been blown up dozens of times, Iraq's top energy official said on Tuesday.

Violence in Iraq climbed back to its highest level in five years in 2013, with nearly 9,000 people killed, most of them civilians, according to the United Nations.

“The ongoing conflict in Syria has resulted in an increasing number of terrorists using vast desert areas between Syria and Iraq to establish bases from which they have carried out attacks against the civilian population and economic targets and infrastructure,” said Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani.

“Attacking the energy sector has been among their top priorities to deprive the country of its main revenue source,” he said. “The attacks have been focussed on oil export pipelines, power generation and transmission lines.”

The al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL], which also is fighting in neighboring Syria, took control of the Iraqi city of Falluja west of Baghdad with the help of sympathetic armed tribesmen.

Unrest is not limited to central areas near Baghdad, but also is spreading to the north where hundreds of thousands of ethnic Kurds fled the Syrian war to neighboring Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan and Turkey.

“The Iraqi Turkish pipeline was blown up 54 times during 2013, averaging once a week yet we managed to repair and use that pipeline and pump on average 250,000 barrels per day last year,” said Shahristani.

He said operations at much larger oilfields in Iraq's south, which provide the bulk of oil exports from the Gulf, remained unaffected.

He said security concerns, however, hindered development of reserves in the western region and its Qayara and Najmah oilfields, operated by Angolan state oil company Sonangol in the al-Qaida heartland of Nineveh province in the country's northwest.

Waiting for a KRG response

Despite the violence, Iraq is gearing up for one of the biggest oil output jumps in its history with international companies nearing completion of major projects which so far have not been affected by unrest.

Iraq will see its oil production capacity rise by more than 50 percent in 2015 to 4.7 million barrels per day [bpd] compared to more than 3 million at the moment, said Shahristani.

The long-term plan is to raise output to 9 million bpd by 2020 and sustain that rate over 20 years, he said.

Kurdistan has also signed deals with major and mid-sized energy companies in the hope of producing as much as 1 million barrels per day.

It has built a pipeline to Turkey, but Baghdad insists it has the sole right to export oil from all parts of Iraq, including Kurdistan.

“Any oil that leaves Iraq without the permission of [state company] SOMO is illegal and Iraq will have to take actions to protect its oil wealth,” said Shahristani.

“We have informed Turkey and the KRG that we cannot allow this to continue,” he said. “We are waiting for a response to our latest proposal."

You May Like

Photogallery WHO Expects Ebola Vaccine Surge in 2015

Official says ‘a few hundred thousand doses’ could be ready by June; 2 drugs already in trial More

Video Islamic State Militants Advance Toward Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focused on Holding Ground in Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to the success of their movement, despite confrontations with angry residents, anti-protest groups and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MikeBarnett from: USA
January 29, 2014 12:37 PM
After the death of bin Laden in 2011, Ayman al Zawahiri decided to stop trying to blow up shoes and underwear on airliners. He has moved al Qaeda into position to strike the oil and gas infrastructure in north Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East. He is not rigid in his plans for his attacks. He has allowed labor unrest to reduce Libyan oil shipments, most of which went to the US and NATO, by 90%. This raises the price of oil for the West. He has encouraged the oil sanctions on Iran, a Shia country, because al Qaeda is a Sunni organization that considers Shia's to be unbelievers. The sanctions also raise the price of oil for the West by cutting supplies.

The attacks in Iraq are part of his strategy because they raise the terror premium and help keep the price of oil near $100 per barrel. This sends more money from the West to Sunni Arab oil states whose citizens donate more money to charities. Islamic insurgent groups engage in charity and qualify for the increased donations. In addition, higher oil prices hinder the mechanized economies of the West that develop and pay for the mechanized militaries of the West. The oil campaign gives more money to improve Sunni Arab countries, gives more money to al Qaeda, damages the economies of the West, and damages the militaries of the West. This permits the US and NATO to pay for both sides in all of the conflicts. It is a multiple victory for al Qaeda.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid