Iraq Announces New Investment in Nasiriyah, Gharraf Gas Fields

Oil field in Iraq (Reuters)
Oil field in Iraq (Reuters)
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Iraq Announces New Investment in Nasiriyah, Gharraf Gas Fields

Oil field in Iraq (Reuters)
Oil field in Iraq (Reuters)

The Iraqi Oil Ministry announced that it would launch a gas investment project in the Nasiriyah and al-Gharraf fields with the US company Rico Hughes in Dhi Qar in southern Iraq.

The Oil Ministry stated that the project has a capacity of 200 million standard cubic feet per day, explaining that this project is one of Iraq's most significant strategic projects in the gas investment sector associated with crude oil.

Over the past months, Iraq has embarked on implementing giant gas investment projects with Chinese companies and France's Total to achieve record levels of gas production to meet the requirements of operating power plants.

Iraq aspires to launch new projects for gas investment in the Akkas field in the al-Anbar governorate and Mansouriya in the Diyala governorate.

Gas prices rose recently due to seasonal and circumstantial factors, in addition to an increase in oil prices. However, the prices fell on Friday as energy companies in the US Gulf of Mexico region resumed production after two successive hurricanes in the area halted production.

Brent crude futures fell 33 cents to settle at $75.34 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 64 cents to settle at $71.97 a barrel.

Over the week, Brent increased 3.3 percent, and US crude rose 3.2 percent, supported by tight supplies due to the hurricane outages.

The decline on Friday came after five consecutive sessions of rises for Brent crude.

On Wednesday, Brent hit its highest level since late July, and US crude hit its highest level since early August.

Gulf crude oil exports are flowing again after hurricanes Nicholas and Ida took out 26 million barrels of offshore production.

Reuters reported on Thursday that the resumption of activities continued with the suspension of about 28 percent of US Gulf of Mexico crude output.

Last week, US energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs for the second week in a row, although the number of offshore units in the Gulf of Mexico remained unchanged after hurricane Ida hit the coast more than two weeks ago.

Energy services firm Baker Hughes said 14 offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico had closed two weeks ago due to the continuing shutdown caused by Ida.



Oil Falls on Lingering Demand Concerns in China

The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, US, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant
The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, US, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant
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Oil Falls on Lingering Demand Concerns in China

The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, US, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant
The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, US, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant

Oil prices declined more than 1% on Tuesday on worries of a slowing Chinese economy crimping demand and despite a growing consensus the US Federal Reserve could begin cutting its key interest rate as soon as September.

Brent futures were down $1.31, or 1.54%, to $83.54 a barrel at 1317 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down $1.41, or 1.72%, to $80.50.

The weaker Chinese economic data "cast some doubts on whether market participants are being overly optimistic" regarding China's oil demand outlook, IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong wrote in an email, Reuters reported.

The world's second-largest economy grew 4.7% in April-June, official data showed, its slowest rate since the first quarter of 2023 and missing a 5.1% forecast in a Reuters poll. It slowed from the previous quarter's 5.3% expansion, hamstrung by a protracted property downturn and job insecurity.

"Its 2Q GDP and retail sales figures had surprised on the downside by a significant margin, while anticipation for stronger stimulus measures at the Third Plenum may face the risk of disappointment," Yeap added, referring to a key economic leadership meeting in Beijing this week.

In the US, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Monday the three US inflation readings over the second quarter of this year "add somewhat to confidence" that the pace of price increases is returning to the central bank's target in a sustainable fashion, remarks which market participants interpreted as indicating that a turn to interest rate cuts may not be far off.

Lower interest rates decrease the cost of borrowing, which can boost economic activity and oil demand.

Some analysts cautioned about being overly bullish as expected weakness in some macroeconomic data from the US could still indirectly hurt oil demand in the near term.