Iraq Oil Report's Daily Brief compiles the most important news and analysis about Iraq from around the web.

Rumors pump KRG contracts

Robert Perkins reports for Platts:

Gulf Keystone Petroleum, the UK-listed explorer developing a large oil field in northern Iraq, saw its shares surge to record highs early Monday following a report that ExxonMobil is considering a bid for the company.

Without citing sources, the UK's Independent on Sunday reported over the weekend that ExxonMobil is considering a GBP7 billion ($10.9 billion) takeover bid for Gulf Keystone.

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IEA: Iraq to lead OPEC growth

Eric Watkins reports in Oil & Gas Journal:

The International Energy Agency, revising upward earlier estimates, said it expects production capacity of members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reach 38.1 million b/d by 2016.

"Crude oil expansion plans in the medium term are moving apace, with capacity now forecast to increase by 2.33 million b/d to 38.1 million b/d by 2016," IEA said in its latest monthly report.

"Iraq accounts for 80% of the increased capacity, followed by the UAE and Angola," IEA said, noting that capacity growth is 200,000 b/d higher than its previous forecast for the 2010-16 period.

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Iraq attempts Syria talks

AFP reports:

Iraq's foreign minister will hold talks with the Damascus regime and opposition groups to try to end months of unrest, as deadly clashes raged Sunday between deserters and regular troops.

A senior Omani government official, meanwhile, said the Arab League was "optimistic" that by Monday Syria will sign a proposal to send an observer mission to the restive country.

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Iran’s Sunir gets $72M power deal

Aseel Kami reports for Reuters:

Iraq signed a $72 million electricity deal with Iranian power development firm Sunir to expand a plant in northern Iraq by 320 megawatts to help feed the power-starved nation, an electricity ministry official said on Monday.

The Iranian company will install two gas units, each with a production capacity of 160 megawatts, at Dibis power plant in northern Kirkuk province, Musab al-Mudarres, a spokesman at the electricity ministry, said.

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Basra oil fields circa 1950s

The Guardian releases:

British Pathé archive footage shows downtown Basra and the surrounding oilfields from 1952. A British-Iraqi delegation comes to inspect the fields and open the Basra Petroleum Company's newly constructed oil pipelines.

Officials then attend a celebratory lunch and footage on the modern drilling process is captured. Officials then attend a celebratory lunch.

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Ex-ConocoPhillips Iraq head to run Wyo. geo

The Associated Press reports:

Gov. Matt Mead has named a former ConocoPhillips official in Iraq as Wyoming's new state geologist.

Tom Drean was previously ConocoPhillips' president for Iraq. He replaces Wallace Ulrich as head of the agency that oversees geological data for the state.

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Iraq war draws to a quiet close

Liz Sly and Craig Whitlock report for The Washington Post:

The American war in Iraq came to an unspectacular end Thursday at a simple ceremony held on the edge of Baghdad’s international airport, not far from the highway along which U.S. troops first fought their way into the capital more than eight years ago.

No senior Iraqi government officials showed up for the event, though the name tags attached to two chairs in the front row indicated American hopes that they might. One was labeled for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the other for President Jalal Talabani.

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Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre in Iraq

Michael S. Schmidt reports for The New York Times:

The 400 pages of interrogations, once closely guarded as secrets of war, were supposed to have been destroyed as the last American troops prepare to leave Iraq. Instead, they were discovered along with reams of other classified documents, including military maps showing helicopter routes and radar capabilities, by a reporter for The New York Times at a junkyard outside Baghdad. An attendant was burning them as fuel to cook a dinner of smoked carp.

The documents — many marked secret — form part of the military’s internal investigation, and confirm much of what happened at Haditha, a Euphrates River town where Marines killed 24 Iraqis, including a 76-year-old man in a wheelchair, women and children, some just toddlers.

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Iraq war wounds still fresh for Falluja

Jack Healy reports for The New York Times:

They came on Wednesday to bury the war: clerics and sheiks, children and widows from across this scarred city. In the shadow of an overpass, they waved banners, burned an American flag, displayed photos of their dead and shouted well-worn denunciations of departing American forces.

Once an inner ring of Iraq’s wartime inferno, Falluja is only too eager to say goodbye to nearly nine shattering years of raids, bombings and house-to-house urban combat. At least 200 American troops were killed in this city. Untold thousands of Iraqis died, civilians and insurgents who are mourned equally as martyrs.

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Iraq’s Shiites in no mood to embrace Iran

Liz Sly reports for The Washington Post:

When a senior Iranian cleric announced last month that he was planning to move to this holy Shiite city to open an office, the furor that erupted offered a glimpse into the future of a complicated relationship.

As American troops leave Iraq, Iran certainly ranks high among the beneficiaries of their nearly nine-year presence. As a Shiite power that suffered enormously during an eight-year war with a Sunni-dominated Iraq in the 1980s, Iran now can generally count on closer ties with a friendly Shiite government next door.

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