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

For exiles, Iraq beckons and repels

Tim Arango reports for The New York Times:

Ali al-Subiahi returned from his family’s self-imposed exile in the United States to reclaim a sense of himself in a new Iraq.

At 26, he runs a string of private schools in Baghdad, bankrolled by his earnings as an interpreter for the United States military. He has adapted, showing what he considers an American entrepreneurial flair, advertising for his schools on blast walls left from the bloodiest days of the war.

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Warrant issued for VP Hashimi

Qassim Abdul-Zahra reports for The Associated Press:

Iraq's Shiite-led government issued an arrest warrant Monday for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, the country's highest ranking Sunni official, on terrorism charges.

The move, a day after the last U.S. troops left Iraq and ended the nearly nine-year war, signaled a sharp new escalation in sectarian tensions that drove Iraq to the brink of civil war just a few years ago.

Interior Ministry spokesman Adil Daham told reporters about the warrant on Monday and state-run television aired what it characterized as confessions by alleged terrorists linked to al-Hashemi.

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Photographers bear witness in Iraq

Michael Kamber reports for The New York Times:

A handful of photographers showed up at the Baghdad airport last Thursday for a forlorn ceremony marking the end of the Iraq war. It seemed a fitting end — both for the military and the photojournalists — to a war that began eight years ago with “shock and awe,” and an enormous attendant gallery of picture-takers.

I’m left, too, with the interwoven narratives of my subjects, whose lives crossed my camera’s viewfinder briefly, and will now never be the same. Looking back at eight years of images, I wonder: Where are these people and how are they getting by after being ravaged by this conflict? Where is the American soldier — a former college basketball star — whom I photographed the day her arm was blown off? Or the Iraqi mother who wailed beside the wall where her son had been killed earlier that morning?

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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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