Violence returns to Iraq’s Falluja

By Hassan al-Hili Azzaman, May 16, 2012 Iraq’s Falluja has been placed under strict curfew following an upsurge in violent attacks blamed on the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda. In the latest attack at least 24 people were either killed or injured, a security source said, adding that more sporadic attacks were reported in different parts [...]

Oil majors destroying environment and refusing to employ locals in Iraq

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 14, 2012 As foreign oil majors begin developing some of the world’s richest oil fields in southern Iraq, there have been complaints of the way they are carrying out their obligations. Legislators from the Province of Basra, Iraq’s main oil center, say the majors confiscate agricultural land, lay it waste [...]

Mesopotamian city in danger of erosion

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 12, 2012 The remains of one of ancient Iraq’s most magnificent cities are in danger of erosion and the Antiquities Department says it cannot do nothing to save it due to lack of funds. The city of Nippur, one of Mesopotamia’s most fabulous, was founded more than 7,000 years in [...]

Poverty hits one out of four Iraqis

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 11, 2012 Nearly a quarter of Iraqi population lives in poverty at present despite the substantial hike in hard cash earnings emanating from oil exports, government statistics reveal. The statistics, released by the Planning Ministry, show that poverty rate is as high as 23% of Iraq’s total population. The figure [...]

Egypt’s Orascom wins $363 million power contract in Iraq

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, May 10, 2012 The government has approved a $363 million contract with Egypt’s Orascom for the construction of a new power plant in northern Iraq. Orascom Construction Industries has several contracts in the country and is one of few foreign firms which are heavily involved in Iraq’s post-war reconstruction despite security [...]

Iran in $450 million deal to export gas to Iraq via new pipeline

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, May 8, 2012 Iran is to construct a 220-kilometer long pipeline to link its gas-producing fields to Iraq. The pipeline will be constructed by Iranian contractors and will cost $450 million. Under a deal the countries signed early this year, Iran is to export 25 million cubic meters of gas to [...]

Iraq’s Kirkuk’s development budget tops $598 million

By Marwan al-Ani Azzaman, May 7, 2012 Authorities in the oil-rich Province of Kirkuk say they have approved a budget of $598 million, the largest in the province’s history. Kirkuk is a major oil-producing center. It currently produces more than 500 million barrels a day. Under a new scheme, called ‘the petro-dollar,” oil producing provinces [...]

Arrest of university professor sparks protest in Iraq

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, May 6, 2012 The arrest of a Baghdad University’s economics professor has led to protests from both students and legislators in Iraq. Professor Mohammed Taqa was arrested within the Baghdad University campus, an action seen by Iraqi intelligentsia as “an affront to academia and scientific research.” Taqa is also dean of [...]

Ministry working to turn Iraq into top gas exporter

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 4, 2012 The Oil Ministry says it is working towards turning the country into one of the world’s top exporters of gas. The ministry’s spokesperson, Asem Jihad, said the first step included capturing flared gas at southern fields in Basra. The second step, he said, will involve tapping the country’s [...]

Iraq’s Basra licenses projects worth $298 million

By Basem Husain Azzaman, May 3, 2012 The Province of Basra has granted four licenses for new start-ups as part of a plan to lure both foreign and local investors to one of Iraq’s most impoverished regions. The licenses, worth $298 million, were given to companies from Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and local contractors, [...]