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

Shell to meet Majnoon target

Hassan Hafidh reports for Dow Jones:

Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday its Majnoon oil field in Iraq is still likely to meet a key production target by the end of this year, despite a series of setbacks that have hampered its development.

Shell said the preliminary mechanical work needed before 175,000 barrels of oil a day can be produced at the super-giant field should be completed by the end of 2012, even though efforts had been stymied by "unexpected mine clearance work, occasional delays in customs and [the] impact of recent weather conditions."

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Car bomb kills 7 at Green Zone gate

Kareem Raheem reports for Reuters:

A suicide car bomber killed seven Iraqis and wounded 11 others, including a member of parliament, close to an entrance to Baghdad's fortified Green Zone on Monday, where several Western embassies are located, police sources said.

The attack was close to the July 14th suspension bridge which leads into the central area, known officially as the International Zone, which houses diplomatic missions including the U.S. embassy.

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Iran advocates higher crude price

Daniel Fineren and Yeganeh Torbati report for Reuters:

Crude oil should be at least $150 per barrel, Iran's oil minister was quoted as saying on Sunday, and the sanctions-hit country's OPEC governor said current oil prices were not high enough to threaten the world economy.

Benchmark Brent crude prices rose to nearly $118 a barrel on Friday, stoking fears that surging energy costs could harm fragile economic growth. Days earlier, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he was worried by high prices and the kingdom would take steps to moderate them.

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Ceyhan pipeline resumes after blast

Ozge Ozbilgin reports for Reuters:

Oil flow through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline from Iraq to Turkey resumed at 1400 GMT on Sunday after being briefly halted by a blast, Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz said on Monday.

Yildiz said there were no problems with the crude flow.

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Iraqi border town in eye of Syrian storm

Patrick Markey reports for Reuters:

Syrian refugees squeeze against a closed gate at an Iraqi border post, reaching through its metal bars to clamor for water, and calling out to Iraqi cousins and brothers on the other side.

Al Qaim, in the Sunni heartland of Anbar province, reflects the tricky balancing act Iraq's Shi'ite leaders face in Syria, whose crisis is testing the Middle East's sectarian divide.

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4 Turkish soldiers killed, PKK suspected

Seyhmus Cakan reports for Reuters:

Suspected Kurdish separatists killed four Turkish soldiers and wounded five more in an attack on a military convoy near the border with Iran and Iraq, a Turkish regional authority said on Saturday.

The past few months have seen some of the heaviest fighting since the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the EU - took up arms in 1984 with the aim of carving out a Kurdish state.

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Smit Lamnalco wins export construction deal

Smit Lamnalco announces in a press release:

Smit Lamnalco has secured the turnkey contract to support Single Point Mooring operations for The Iraq Crude Oil Export Expansion Project (ICOEEP). The scheme, 20 km off the Al Fao Peninsula, looks to triple oil exports from Iraq.

The SPM contract covers operations and maintenance of four SPM systems and runs for up to three years, a term that would generate over US $200 million for Smit Lamnalco. The agreement involves the full scope of maritime support services for the export facilities.

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Genel, GKP gain on KRG news

Brian Swint reports for Bloomberg:

Genel Energy Plc (GENL) and Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. (GKP) rose in London trading after Iraq’s central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region reached an agreement to end an oil revenue dispute.

Genel gained 3.7 percent, the most since Aug. 14, to 731 pence. Gulf Keystone rose 6.2 percent to 234.8 pence.

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Iraq bars new Turkish firms over Hashimi

Aseel Kami reports for Reuters:

Iraq's Trade Ministry has stopped registering Turkish companies, it said on Thursday, as the neighbors sparred over Ankara's refusal to send back a fugitive Iraqi vice president who was sentenced to death in absentia.

The ministry insisted the move was made for "regulatory and statistics" purposes, but Turkish businesses in Baghdad were worried the decision was taken because of the dispute between the two capitals and a government source told Reuters it was political.

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Dilemma in Iraq over investment

Hadeel al Sayegh reports for The National:

Iraq's sovereign debt outperformed issues from the region this year, with hedge fund managers betting on healthy oil revenues and growing economic and financial strength for the country. But the current political crisis has raised worries the recent bond rally may fizzle out.

The Paris Club agreement was set up in 2004 to restructure Iraq's pre-Saddam era public debt of US$37 billion (Dh135.9bn), of which creditors agreed to cancel 80 per cent, while the remaining $7.4bn was rescheduled into a series of loans denominated in currencies.

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