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Global Energy Advisory – 20th March 2015

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• Iraqi forces (backed by Shi’ite militias) have retaken most of the towns and the area surrounding Tikrit, in central Iraq, but have made little progress taking the city of Tikrit itself from the Islamic State (IS). There are oilfields outside of Tikrit, which IS has set fire to in an attempt to distract Iraqi forces from the city. Here we have the al-Ojail oilfield. It’s not the major fields of Basra, but it does pump out around 25,000 bpd that goes on to Kirkuk refineries further north and east. It also produces about 4 million cubic meters of gas per day, feeding the Kirkuk power station. Iraqi forces are now said to control the oilfield, which has been under IS control since last June, but the damages to this field remain unknown. The taking of Tikrit will be interesting. This is a town closer to the border with Iran and this is where it becomes clearer who will get a leg up in Iraq: the US or Iran, or (as the winds are blowing) both. Right now, Shi’ite militias (Iranian leaning) are aiding in the offensive on Tikrit, and the Iraqis are calling for more help from anyone who will heed the call—either Iran or the US. So far, no one is promising aid with air strikes here.

• At the same time, as this larger geopolitical game is being played out over Iraq and Syria, Saudi Arabia is again on the anti-Iran warpath despite the fact that this will have disastrous consequences for the threat to the…

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