The Iraqi Minister of Oil recently announced that Iraq had increased their oil output to 2.9 million barrels a day. However, that figure is exaggerated. Iraq only exported 2.2 million barrels a day due to the limitations of the infrastructure. Iraq is hoping to reach 3 million barrels a day in out put oil production by the end of the month. This remains to be seen as going from 2.9 to 3 million barrels a day in output capacity with the current limitations will be difficult. In any case, this is a milestone for Iraq.
The Troops here in Iraq are definitely leaving at the end of the year and with this goes the hundreds of millions of dollars the troops or the US government brought to Iraq. This will have a lasting effect on the Iraqi economy. This scenario could be short lived if the Iraqi government can acquire foreign investments. The Iraqi government will now have to find the funds to fill the void.
After numerous meetings and consulting with various entities the consensus is that there will not be any movement with the Iraqi Dinar currency. The Iraq currency reform report will not commence this year as the Iraqi parliament will not schedule this for discussions. This remains in the hands of the Council of Ministries who have already reviewed the currency reform report courtesy of Governor Sinan al-Shabibi. In addition, the Currency Reform report has also been reviewed by a committee that has been set up by the Iraqi Parliament. There will be no action taken this year as more debates and discussions are continuing with the government and private enterprise. This is the reason for the continued articles in the media referencing the same facts over and over. The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) continues to move at a snails pace when it comes to removing the 25k notes from circulation and at such time will be replacing those denominations with another newer Iraqi currency. There are six new denominations being considered and when the decision is finalized they will be printed. Many claim this is premature as the Iraqi Parliament, Council of Ministries and the legal department are still reviewing and debating the Central Bank of Iraq Currency Reform report.
The Iraqi Parliament did accomplish one major goal and that is the appointment of the new Ministry of Electricity, Abd Al-Karim Aftan. The appointment of this new Minister casts doubt on Iyad Allawi who is showing to be less relevant in the political process. Al-Karim Aftan is from the al-Hal Party which is a small faction of the Iraqi National Movement. The new Electricity Minister also has a brother who is the Minister of Industry. You can count on both brothers to be supportive of PM Maliki which will enforce his grip of power. PM Maliki is also looking forward to completing his second term and possibly a third.
Prime Minister Maliki does not want the U.S. Troops to remain past the agreed deadline of 31 Dec. If he didn’t voice this he would lose all support from the same political groups that are keeping him in his position as Prime Minister.
The Kuwaiti government is continuing with the construction of their new port of Mubarak despite the Iraqi government politicians opposition. The only Iraqi government officials who currently have no problems with the new Kuwaiti port is Prime Minister Maliki and the Ministry of foreign Affairs Zebari. But rumor has it that Zebari has been accepting gifts from the Kuwaiti government. The Kuwaiti government gave Zebari the gifts in exchange for his influence in continuing with the Kuwait Port of Mubarak. This is not the good economic partnership for both the Iraqi new Port and the Kuwaiti Port of Mubarak that you’re led to believe. The fact is that it blocks the shipping lanes and makes navigation to the Iraqi port very difficult.
A talk show host recently reported that Iran was a third world country and that they have no money. I was astonished at this claim because this host is supposedly an expert on Iraq, or so he claims. In regards to Iran, the Gross Domestic Product of Iran is almost 900 billion dollars. Now, compare this to Iraq which is barely 110 billion dollars. Clearly, Iran is far from being broke. When you hear these different reports from these various hosts on different topics please fact check or verify them. If this reporter was so educated on the topic of Iran then he would’ve known that Iran and Turkey have already traded 15 billion dollars in the first 8 months of 2011.