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Global Energy Advisory September 23rd 2016

Iraq

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• The Iraqi-U.S. coalition is advancing on Mosul, the northern Iraqi city that is one of the few remaining strongholds of Islamic State. Before the final advance, the coalition launched an attack on Shirqat, a town they will use as a stepping stone to Mosul. ISIS is preparing for the fight by digging a moat around Mosul, along with channels within its walls and setting up oil-filled tankers around it, to turn into a wall of fire to stop the advance of the coalition, according to local sources. The start of the attack is planned for next month. Should it be successful, it could mark a turning point in the fight against ISIS. Meanwhile, however, foreign oil companies operating in the country are finding it hard to stick to their production expansion plans. They were already forced by the Iraqi government to severely cut their budgets as Baghdad was unable to continue paying them for developing its oilfields. A substantial part of Iraq’s oil revenues were used for the army and the war with ISIS. Against this background, the taking of Mosul could optimistically be seen as the beginning of the end for IS, allowing Iraq to redirect funds to its oil industry, on which the country is heavily dependent. For oil speculators, a victory over ISIS could add to the existing oil supply glut unless OPEC decides not only on a freeze, but a production cut.

• Kenya has been dragged to the UN International Court of Justice by Somalia,…

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