Iraqi Super Giant Flexes Oil Muscles

September 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

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Pump Up the Volume 

Iraq has long been due an oil production rise, and that promise now looks set to be realized. It may be a relief for oil markets, since many other Middle East producers continue to experience major disruption.

The country signed big contracts with some of the world’s largest oil companies in 2009, beginning the rebuild of an industry still recovering from a war that started in 2003 and dragged on for years, write The Wall Street Journal’s Asa Fitch and Hassan Hafidh.

The big bright spot in the coming months is the Majnoon “super giant” field, from which Shell plans to pump 200,000 barrels of oil a day by the end of the year. Majnoon apparently means “crazy,” a reference to the vast amounts of oil available in that southern part of the country.

Total increases could hit 400,000 barrels per day by the year’s end, the deputy oil minister of Iraq told a conference in Dubai this week. That would make for 3.6 million or 3.7 million barrels extracted every day by Christmas.

If the situation in Syria stabilizes, much of that oil could be trucked west through Syria to the Mediterranean, and then shipped to Asia.

Syria’s own oil production is currently stifled by civil conflict, which a month ago looked set to spark wider international action. The situation has calmed enough now that the oil price no longer has an attached  “risk premium”–or a rise reflecting expectation of further disruption.

United Nations inspectors looking for evidence of chemical weapon use return to Syria Wednesday. Their previous visit was cut short by a poison gas attack.

Iraq’s eastern neighbour, Iran, is still shut out of much international oil trade by sanctions.

Iran has a nuclear program that it doesn’t want to halt.  The U.S. and others, seeing the proliferation of nuclear capability–especially in Iranian hands–as a threat, would like to see it dismantled.

A thaw in icy relations between the country has been mentioned. On Tuesday Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s didn’t meet U.S. President Barack Obama at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Some reports said that Mr. Rouhani had refused even a handshake, others said that the encounter had “failed to materialize.”

If all else in the region fails, there’s always Saudi Arabia. Its oil minister said that there was plenty of oil around and no one should worry.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter and the only producer with the flexibility to easily twist the volume dial on its production. The country raised its output by 156,200 barrels a day to 10.19 million barrels a day last month. That is the highest level since at least 1980, writes the Journal’s Summer Said.

Landlords Tilt at Windmills 

In Sweden, a property firm is selling electricity to tenants directly from wind turbines that it also owns. And the model seems to be working.

Wallenstam AB has 57 turbines, generating enough homemade energy to power the 9,000 households and 1,000 companies occupying Wallenstam buildings, writes The Wall Street Journal’s John D. Stoll.

The company is now self-sufficient.

In most parts of the world, it has been energy firms taking the lead role in developing wind power. Wind farms produce 2.5% of the global electricity supply, a rate that is rising by about 10% to 15% a year, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

In Scandinavia, real-estate owners account for an increasing chunk of investment, while the U.S, as well as Japan and developing markets are also seeing more projects linking power generation to hyper-local use.

Swedish furniture giant Ikea, which owns millions of square feet of property, also makes energy and sells it.

Its sustainability officer told the Journal that the company’s annual generation of its own electricity is “worth €100 million of revenue” based on his “back-of-the-envelope calculation.”


The Brent crude oil price ticked up Wednesday as the dollar weakened in relation to the euro. The latest market comment can be read here.

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