BP and CNPC sign first major oil deal with Iraq in almost 40 years

Iraq's oil ministry has signed a deal with Britain's BP and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for work that will almost triple output from the country's biggest oilfield. The formal ratification of the 20-year service agreement - the first major deal between Iraq and Big Oil in almost 40 years - is being hailed as a milestone in the country's efforts to refurbish its dilapidated oil sector.

The contract to develop the Rumaila oilfield, worth an estimated US$14 billion (Dh51.42bn) to $20bn, was also the only deal to emerge from the ministry's first post-war auction of oil and gas licences, held in late June. That meant the government lacked a fallback position if the deal fell through. "The signed contract will be referred to the cabinet for approval, after which the oil ministry will hold a ceremony to announce the beginning of work by the two companies," said Asim Jihad, the ministry's spokesman.

The Iraqi oil minister, Hussain al Shahristani, pitched the two oil and gas licencing rounds scheduled for this year as the centrepiece of his strategy for drawing desperately needed foreign investment to Iraq's key oil sector without giving away the country's resources. But most firms bidding in June baulked at tough government counter-offers and left the auction empty-handed. BP and CNPC agreed to drop their fee by nearly 50 per cent to $2 per barrel to win the contract for raising output from Rumaila, a "supergiant" field with about 17 billion barrels of reserves. The companies propose to increase production in stages to 2.85 million barrels per day (bpd) from about 1.1 million bpd.

Rumaila, the workhorse of Iraq's oil industry, already accounts for almost half the country's total oil production of about 2.4 million bpd, of which 2 million bpd is exported to earn the bulk of the government's foreign revenues. The ministry will offer licences to develop 10 other oilfields in a second bidding round in early December. @Email:tcarlisle@thenational.ae

Some of Darwish's last words

"They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope." - Mahmoud Darwish, to attendees of the Palestine Festival of Literature, 2008

His life in brief: Born in a village near Galilee, he lived in exile for most of his life and started writing poetry after high school. He was arrested several times by Israel for what were deemed to be inciteful poems. Most of his work focused on the love and yearning for his homeland, and he was regarded the Palestinian poet of resistance. Over the course of his life, he published more than 30 poetry collections and books of prose, with his work translated into more than 20 languages. Many of his poems were set to music by Arab composers, most significantly Marcel Khalife. Darwish died on August 9, 2008 after undergoing heart surgery in the United States. He was later buried in Ramallah where a shrine was erected in his honour.


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Founders: Onur Elgun, Mustafa Bosca and Muhammed Yildirim
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The five pillars of Islam
Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar

Director: Luv Ranjan

Stars: Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Anubhav Singh Bassi and Dimple Kapadia

Rating: 3/5


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates


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UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).


England 228-7, 50 overs
N Sciver 51; J Goswami 3-23

India 219, 48.4 overs
P Raut 86, H Kaur 51; A Shrubsole 6-46

England won by nine runs


Director: Ali Abbasi

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Rating: 3/5


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