• 4 hours British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 8 hours Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 10 hours Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 11 hours Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 12 hours OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 13 hours London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 14 hours Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 17 hours Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 23 hours India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 1 day Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 1 day Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 2 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 2 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 2 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 2 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 2 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 3 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 3 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 3 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 3 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 3 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 3 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 3 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 3 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 4 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 4 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 4 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 4 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 6 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 6 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 7 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 7 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 7 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 7 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 7 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 7 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 7 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 7 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 8 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
Alt Text

The Geopolitical Consequences Of U.S. Oil Exports

The United States has ramped…

Alt Text

Why Petrol Powered Cars Aren’t Going Anywhere

Internal combustion engines are still…

Alt Text

The Next Big Digital Disruption In Energy

Blockchain technology is transforming the…

11 Years On, We’re Still In ‘Shock And Awe’ Over Iraq

11 Years On, We’re Still In ‘Shock And Awe’ Over Iraq

Iraq is burning, and now its largest refinery has quite possibly been taken over by Sunni insurgents.

On June 18, reports on the ground remained unclear as to who controls the refinery, with Iraqi security forces saying they were close to retaking full control, but other sources suggesting the refinery was surrounding by insurgents allied with anti-government tribes from the area.

By June 19, the Iraqi Oil Report was twittering that the Iraqi security forces were inside the refinery, but that the Sunni militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and their loose alliance with local tribes were controlling everything around the refinery, and that production had been completely halted.

What does it mean for global markets? Well, not much—yet, at least in direct relation to the Baiji refinery. Baiji is billed as Iraq’s largest refinery, but that’s skewing the picture a bit. It is perhaps Iraq’s largest refinery in terms of square footage. But it refines products for consumption on the domestic market only—not for export.

The wider story, though, should have global markets extremely anxious, but no one should be surprised. OP Tactical has been advising its clients for years, certainly since the outbreak of conflict in Syria, that Iraq was heading towards civil war. The response has always been one of disbelief because regular Iraqis so badly wanted life to be normal and were ready for business.

But civil war is a snowball from hell that regular citizens cannot stop; rather they can only be bowled over by it and sucked into it.

The geopolitics is about to get very interesting, if it wasn’t interesting enough already. On June 17, Baghdad pleaded with the US. to come to its aid with air strikes that would likely decimate the civilian population in the vicinity of the Sunni-controlled hotspots, not to mention further ignite the conflict and give the civil war even more impetus. And, make no mistake, ISIS is heading for Baghdad. Mosul, Tikrit and the other towns it has taken over are just springboards to Baghdad, and they’re picking up stray allies in the form of local anti-government tribes along the way.

Still, Washington is surely by this point wondering whether it should come to Iraq’s aid or let Iran do it.  And, of course, Saudi Arabia is not keen on have the US launch air strikes on Sunni insurgents it helped to build up for the conflict in Syria. But everyone knows that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shi’ite dominated government has only a very shaky hold on power as it is, so there’s not much to stabilize on those terms.

As it stands, though, with the violent insurgency raging, Iraq will not be able to make any strategic decisions on its oil expansion plans.

On 18 June, for instance, the Iraqi Oil Ministry announced the postponement of bidding on the Nassiriya oil field and refinery project, which had been planned for June 19. Baghdad is now fully distracted and ISIS is surely coming for its oil.

Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc have begun evacuating employees from the Iraq, including workers from the massive West Qurna oilfield.

On another important geopolitical front, eastern Ukraine is also still burning, but that’s not stopping Kiev from thinking very seriously about what its energy industry should look like once the dust settles.

To that end, please don’t miss our coverage of the Adam Smith Ukrainian Energy Forum, which kicks on 24 June. Oilprice.com will be on the ground bringing you full coverage of the event, including video footage and special interviews with key power brokers influencing the future of the country’s energy sector.

By James Stafford of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News