Report on Oil and Gas review in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region – Q3 of 2018, Deloitte

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) - Today, Regional Council for Oil and Gas Affairs has published new verified data on the Kurdistan Region’s oil exports, consumption and revenues, covering the period from 1 July 2018 to 30 September 2018, after a review of the sector by the international “Big 4” audit and consulting firm, Deloitte.

The Regional Council for Oil and Gas Affairs acknowledges the positive feedback received from stakeholders, including the international community, and reiterates its commitment to the people of Kurdistan that the two international audit firms, Deloitte and Ernst & Young, will continue to independently review the oil and gas sector, inclusive of all the streams.

Deloitte’s report for the third quarter of 2018 is accessible through this link (PDF), in Kurdish, Arabic and English.

Frequently asked questions handbook (PDF) in KurdishArabic and English to help readers better understand different sections of the report.


Prime Minister Barzani meets former French President Hollande

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received former President of France François Hollande. The meeting was also attended by Kurdistan Regional Government Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani.

President Hollande gave a briefing on his visit to Mosul and his participation in the Shifa Gardi International Award Ceremony.

He recalled his earlier visits during the fight against ISIS and visiting the frontlines with President Masoud Barzani.

He praised the Kurdistan Regional Government and Peshmerga forces for protecting, accommodating, and offering assistance to a large number of displaced people. He also stressed the importance of coordination between the international community, Iraq, and the Kurdistan Region to provide essential services to devastated areas.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked President Hollande and France for continued support to the Kurdistan Region, especially during difficult times. He highly valued the role of France in assisting the lifting of the blockade on the Kurdistan Region, imposed by Baghdad after the independence referendum, in the end of 2017. He also highlighted progress in relations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad toward resolving outstanding issues through negotiation.

He reaffirmed KRG’s support to Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Further, he pointed to current talks on planning coordination between the Iraqi army and Peshmerga forces in confronting the threats of reemergence of terrorism.


Agriculture and Food Conference held between the Kurdistan Region and the Netherlands

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (dfr.gov.krd) – Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations (DFR), Minister Falah Mustafa participated in conference discussions of cooperation between the Kurdistan Region and Netherlands on the agriculture, food security and investment sectors under the theme “farm to the plate” which organized by Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Region and under the patronage of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The conference also attended by the KRG Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani and Consul Generals in the Kurdistan Region and Representatives of the public and private sectors of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Erbil, Willem Nicolaas Cosijn, along with a number of Ministers, Governors and KRG Officials.

In his opening remarks, Consul General and Representative of the public and private sectors, Mr Cosijn welcomed the participants and expressed his optimism for further development and progress of relations between the two countries. He also emphasized on the importance of revitalizing the agricultural sector, industry and developing a sustainable and strong economic infrastructure in the Kurdistan Region.

In his remarks, Head of DFR, Minister Falah Mustafa highlighted the historical relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He also thanked the people and government of the Netherlands for their support to the Peshmerga Forces in fighting against ISIS, also, co-operation in mine clearance and humanitarian assistance to the refugees and displaced persons in the Region.

Minister Mustafa addressed that the conference took place as a result of growing ties between the two countries and referred the efforts to raise the efficiency of agricultural production in the Kurdistan Region and improve it in terms of quality, food security, soil protection, and water resources. “We are welcoming companies and foreign investments that are interested in investing and enhancing collaboration and effective implementation of the projects in the Kurdistan Region” Minister added during his statement at the conference.


Kurdistan Region still hosts about 1.5 Million IDPs and refugees

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – In 2018, only 32,000 of approximately 1.5 million remaining internally displaced persons, IDPs, and Syrian refugees in Kurdistan Region have either returned to their homes or migrated abroad.

In an interview with the Kurdistan Regional Government website, Director-General of the KRG Ministry of Interior’s Joint Crisis Coordination Centre, JCC, Hoshang Muhammad stated that in 2018 only 27,671 IDPs and 4,380 Syrian refugees left the Kurdistan Region. This low number is mainly due to continued security challenges, terrorist activities, and inadequate basic services in their liberated places of origin, and, in Syria, it is due to ongoing war and economic collapse.

According to JCC, “The humanitarian policy of the KRG is to provide security, basic services including education, and job opportunity to all IDPs and refugees without discrimination regarding ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation.”

During 2018, IDPs and refugees continued to flee their homes; 28,487 IDPs, mostly from Nineveh province, and 3,795 refugees from Syria sought refuge in the Kurdistan Region.

Regarding the number of IDPs and refugees, Hoshang Muhammad said, “Despite declaring victory over ISIS, there are still 1,411,532 displaced people and refugees hosted in the Kurdistan Region, of which 1,127,400 are IDPs and 249,639 are Syrian refugees.”

According to JCC:
• 79 percent of IDPs reside in cities and towns and 21 percent in 29 camps.
• 69 percent of Syrian refugees reside in cities and towns and 37 percent in nine camps.
• 50 percent of IDPs plus refugees are in Erbil province, with 31 percent in Duhok and 19 percent in Suleimaniya provinces.

Among IDPs:
• 40 percent are Sunni Arabs
• 30 percent are Yezidi Kurds
• 13 percent are Muslim Kurds
• Seven percent are Christians
• 10 percent are Shia, Shabak Kurds, Turkmens, and Armenians

Mr. Muhammad said, “Few IDPs and refugees earn incomes. While some IDPs are current or retired civil servants receiving monthly compensation from the Iraqi government, 65 percent of IDPs and refugees depend on assistance from KRG, UN agencies, and NGOs.”

Providing services, such as security, shelter, water, electricity, health, education, and camp management, requires $5.4 million per day ($162 million per month or about $1.9 billion annually). The KRG has endeavored to make services available equally for IDPs and refugees, despite severe financial constraints.

International assistance

Regarding international assistance, Mr. Muhammad stated that during the past four years, UN agencies along with local and international NGOs have been providing highly valued support to the KRG in caring for an extraordinary number of IDPs and refugees. He said, to meet the needs of IDPs and refugees, NGOs along with the international community provide only about 25 percent of requirements while the KRG provides 75 percent.

JCC Director General further said that since victory over ISIS was declared, the number of international organizations, especially those servicing camps, have decreased, which has caused drop in services.

Currently, 160 humanitarian organizations serve in the Kurdistan Region to help IDPs and refugees – 43 are local and 103 international NGOs, 14 are UN agencies.

According to JCC data, in addition to 249,639 Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region, other refugees include 20,575 from Turkey, 13,162 from Iran, and 756 Palestinians.


DFR Minister receives the Spanish Ambassador to Iraq to discuss recent political developments and issues of common interest

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (dfr.gov.krd) – Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa met with the Ambassador of Spain to Iraq, Juan José Escobar Stemmann and his accompanying delegation on 9 February 2019.

Minister Mustafa provided an overview of the recent political developments in the Kurdistan Region and beyond, the formation of the new KRG cabinet and pathways to foster bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and Spain. The Minister also expressed the commitment of the KRG to develop ties and improving economic cooperation with Spain.

Spanish Ambassador, Stemmann expressed his optimism on visiting the Kurdistan Region and meets with the KRG officials, as well as to further strengthening relations in various areas including economic and trade.


Prime Minister Barzani receives Kuwaiti Consul General

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received Consul General of Kuwait to the Kurdistan Region, Omar Al-Kandari and his accompanying delegation.

Consul General Al-Kandari highlighted Kurdistan Regional Government’s effective management of the past four year’s severe economic crisis and accommodating and assisting an extraordinary number of displaced persons from Iraq and refugees from Syria. He also noted his country’s assistance to displaced persons.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the people and Government of Kuwait for their humanitarian assistance with special gratitude to the Emir of Kuwait and the Consul General.

Relations with Baghdad, including the recent visit of Prime Minister Barzani to Baghdad and his meeting with Iraq’s Prime Minister, relations with neighboring countries, strengthening relations between the Kurdistan Region and Kuwait as well as political and security situation of the wider region, were also discussed.


Spanish Ambassador to Iraq, Juan José Escobar Stemmann, visited Kurdistan region

Erbil, Kurdistan region of Iraq – Spanish Ambassador to Iraq, Juan José Escobar Stemmann, visited the Kurdistan Region on Saturday and met with KRG leaders to discuss relations between Kurdistan Region and Spain.

The Ambassador Escobar Stemmann was accompanied by the Honorary Consul in Erbil, Dawood Sardar Jaff during his visit.  The Ambassador met with the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC), Masrour Barzani. Both sides discussed developing bilateral relations and cooperation in all areas, especially in trade and investment.

Later, the Ambassador of Spain met with the Head of DFR, Falah Mustafa, and discussed the possibilities to develop trade between Spain and the Kurdistan. The recently  improving relations between the KRG and the federal government of Iraq were also discussed at the meeting.


Prime Minister Barzani meets Iraqi Prime Minister

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani met the Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad.

They discussed strengthening relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Federal Government of Iraq through coordination and cooperation and exerting further effort to settle the remaining issues within the framework of the Constitution of Iraq.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi for his continual efforts to improve the federal government’s relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government and reiterated that the KRG will continue dialogue toward resolving all outstanding issues.

Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq for Economic Affairs and Minister of Finance, Fuad Hussein, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy and Minister of Oil Thamir Ghadhban, Iraq’s National Security Advisor Falih al-Fayyadh, and KRG Minister of Interior Karim Sinjari also attended the meeting.

The security situation and the political process in Iraq and the latest developments in the wider region were also discussed.


Prime Minister Barzani meets visiting Italian Prime Minister Conte

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his accompanying delegation in Erbil.

The meeting was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani.

Prime Minister Conte praised the role of the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga forces in the fight against terrorism, the people and the Kurdistan Regional Government for accommodating and offering assistance to a large number of IDPs and refugees.

He valued the old tradition of tolerance and coexistence among the various religious communities in the Kurdistan Region, and reiterated his country’s humanitarian and military support to the Kurdistan Region.

The Italian Prime Minister stressed strengthening bilateral relations in various fields. He also welcomed the Kurdistan parliamentary elections, participation of the Kurdistan Region in the Iraqi elections, the continued talks between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad to settle differences and develop security cooperation between them.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked Prime Minister Conte for his visit to the Kurdistan Region. He also thanked his government for its continued support to the Kurdistan Region, particularly in the humanitarian, military and cultural fields.

Prime Minister Barzani highlighted the progress made in settling some of the issues between Kurdistan and Baghdad through constructive dialogue, and reaffirmed KRG’s support to the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi. He stressed that efforts will be further exerted to settle the remaining outstanding issues, within the framework of the Iraqi constitution.

Prime Minister Barzani said that the threat of terrorism still exists and highlighted the cooperation and coordination between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad to eradicate terrorism. He stressed that the support of the international community is essential in this context.

Prime Minister Barzani considered that international community’s role is essential in assisting the Kurdistan religious communities, who fled ISIS repression, to return to their places of origin and construct their devastated communities.

Prime Minister Barzani also highlighted KRG’s administrative reform process, the economic recovery and the opportunities for Italian investors to invest in various sectors in the Kurdistan Region.

The situation of the region in general and a number of topics related to the political and security situation in the wider region were also discussed in the meeting.


Prime Minister Barzani receives U.S. Assistant Secretary of Treasury

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received U.S. Assistant Secretary of Treasury Marshall Billingslea and his accompanying delegation.

Assistant Secretary Billingslea welcomed improvements in the Kurdistan Region, especially in its economic infrastructure, government reforms, and the development of the private sector. He also expressed his country’s readiness to assist the Kurdistan Region and Iraq to strengthen their economies and reform government institutions.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the U.S. Government for its continual support to the Kurdistan Region. He said that progress on expanding the economy of the Kurdistan Region will add to the Iraqi economy. He highlighted that private sector expansion that attracts foreign investment enables friends to participate as partners  in the Region’s development.

Also discussed was the situation in the Region and coordination of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraq federal government with the international coalition, especially the United States, to counter terrorism by curtailing the financial resources of terrorists.