Iraq Update: Fighting Continues, Battle For Refinery, PM On The Rocks

Tyler Durden's picture

Here are all the latest news and updates from the rapidly-changing situation in Iraq, courtesy of Bloomberg.

 

FRONT-LINE FIGHTING

  • Iraqi govt troops retain control of 310k b/d Baiji refinery, but facility surrounded by territory held by ISIL-led militants
  • Aerial photos yday showed some storage tanks on fire
  • Fierce battles near Baiji and Tal Afar airport: BBC
  • Fighting continues around Tal Afar, halfway between Mosul and Syrian border
  • Clashes reported between ISIL and Kurds south of Kirkuk

FOREIGN POLITICS

  • U.S. to send 300 military advisors to Baghdad; lack sufficient intelligence for imminent air strikes: Gen. Dempsey
  • Saudi Arabia warns against outside intervention in Iraq, blames “exclusionary policies” of Iraqi cabinet: Saudi ambassador writes in Telegraph
  • ISIL hands over captured foreign workers to police

 

PRESSURE ON MALIKI

  • Obama declines to endorse Maliki, but stops short of calling for him to step down
  • Challengers emerging to replace Iraq PM: NYT

 

OIL PRODUCTION IN NORTHERN IRAQ

  • Current output from Iraq’s northern fields cut to 30k b/d; supplying Kirkuk refinery
  • Northern fields were producing ~650-700k b/d before March 2 closure of export pipeline to Turkey

 

IRAQ’S NORTHERN EXPORTS

  • Exports from Iraq’s northern fields cut since March 2 when the Iraq-Turkey pipeline was bombed
  • Exports of Kirkuk crude from Turkish port of Ceyhan fell to 24k b/d in March, zero in April: Oil Ministry
  • NOTE: Iraq still exports crude from southern fields via Persian Gulf

ROLE OF KURDISTAN

  • Kurdish forces have taken control of Kirkuk oil field and city after central govt forces fled
  • Kurds fighting ISIL forces at Bayshir, south of Kirkuk
  • Ashti Hawrami, Kurdish Regional Govt’s natural resources minister, offered to export Kirkuk via Kurdish pipelines, but was rebuffed
  • Kurds to boost exports to 200k-250k b/d in July from 125k b/d now; targeting 400k b/d by end-2014

 

BAIJI REFINERY

  • Sprawling complex of storage tanks, processing units
  • Primary source of products for N Iraq; also supplies Baghdad
  • Linked power plant provides electricity to region
  • Represents ~40% of Iraq’s refining capacity; processes      crude delivered by pipeline and rail from Kirkuk, Ajeel (formerly Saddam) and other fields operated by North Oil Co.
  • Lies on Iraq-Ceyhan pipeline; important source of fuel for both govt and ISIL
  • Storage tanks full: Iraq Oil Ministry
  • Capture would provide immediate source of fuel for insurgents’ vehicles and for sale in N Iraq.

OIL PRODUCTION/EXPORTS FROM SOUTHERN IRAQ

  • Production in south unaffected by fighting so far
  • Iraq plans to ship 2.79m b/d from Basrah Oil Terminal in July; most since before 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War
  • BP, Exxon, CNPC and Petronas started to evacuate non- Iraqi staff from nation
  • Shell ’monitoring the situation very carefully’: Andy Brown, head of Shell Upstream International
  • Lukoil has increased security at West Qurna field, where it started production in March
  • Southern oil facilities not beyond ISIL’s reach: Barclays

 

WHO IS ISIL?

  • Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is also known as Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)
  • A Sunni jihadist group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  • Broke away from al-Qaeda in 2013
  • Want to create a Sunni caliphate across Iraq, Syria and neighboring countries
  • Control large parts of northern Syria
  • Well funded through sales of Syrian oil and antiquities
  • Vowed to attack Baghdad and Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf

 

WHAT IS THE CORE ISSUE?

  • ISIL insurgents have overrun large parts of northern and central Iraq; Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite Muslim-led govt now seeking to regain control
  • 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and subsequent rise to power of Shiite-Muslim majority alienated Sunni Muslims; Sunnis felt marginalized under Maliki; some support ISIL
  • Maliki accuses ISIL of an alliance with Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party
  • Shiites constitute majority in southern Iraq

Source: BBG

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smacker's picture

Everybody knows war is good for the economy(!)

TeamDepends's picture

Dark Lord:  Ordo ab Chao  (maniacal laughter)

TruthHunter's picture

Looks like the refinery lost this battle.

CPL's picture

Yes.  Go long bikes, horses and hiking boots.

falak pema's picture

It has a new mission statement : to refine beards; shia, sunni and kurdish. 

Don't know yet which style will win! 

CPL's picture

nobody wins, everyone loses something.

sushi's picture

Looks like the refinery lost this battle.

In other military news NATO has come out in defence of fracking.

Glad to see we maintain expensive military alliances that work their butts off to protect commercial extraction techniques and technology.

Cannot wait for NATOs next target. A war on shoes? A ringing defense of household detergents? A hellfire up the ass if you dare use oleomargerine?

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Apparently Tal Afar has been liberated by Iraqi forces.

http://www.islamicinvitationturkey.com/2014/06/20/iraqi-army-retakes-key...

 

Prominent Saudi ISIS leader killed in Tikrit

http://www.islamicinvitationturkey.com/2014/06/20/saudi-isil-commander-k...

 

To Re-iterate, 59 generals brought to court over abandoning mosul starting this all:

http://www.islamicinvitationturkey.com/2014/06/19/59-generals-brought-to...

 

As for Fracking, that is going to continue here come hell or high water. It is a self perpetuating thing now, these companies have to keep drilling to maintain production let alone expand it. The business model works but it guarantees perpetual drilling if management wants to maintain value.

Regarding the NATO model, I would refer readers to look at Libya, where the radical islamists who were installed there are locked in a protracted battle with tribal militias ( who would be better served in control ) with Oil exports a fraction of what they were and should be.

 

Either way this ends in IRan since the Settler state on the mediterranean and the Bronze Age savages in Saudi Arabia consider them an existential threat.

 

p.s. here is a current as of last night map of the Battle from syrianperspective.com

http://www.syrianperspective.com/2014/06/new-map-of-the-military-situati...

 

NOte on that Map Sinjar. For readers who would like a bit of a history lesson, the sinjar records were a list of terrorists found there which detailed the homes and the designations ( suicide bomber, jihadi ) of a list of terrorists. West Point did an analysis on them and Saudi Arabia was the home run hitter, with Libya, Specifically Ben Gazi being an honorable mention. Figure that one out.

http://tarpley.net/docs/CTCForeignFighter.19.Dec07.pdf

 

p.p.s. has it even been mentioned once on zerohedge that at least as much fighting has come from former Hussein right hand man Al-Duri and his crew?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/13/isis-s-secret-allies.html

 

probably not because that would require re-wiring the entire story.

shovelhead's picture

The latest horror:

NATO accuses "THE DESPICABLE MR. PUTIN" of anti-fracking propaganda.

The military arm of the oil cartel so sayeth.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

LOL hilarious. IF you want to know who is pushing anti fracking propaganda, you may want to look at our "allies" Qatar.

 

We are in bed with the worst of the worst and leave it to the press to peddle provable lies to an increasingly retarded unwashed mass.

TideFighter's picture

Is there anything that would cause more soldier's developing PTSD than having this cunt President letting Iraq be overrun? More and more soldiers realize that they drank too much Kool Aid - many soldiers' suicides must be coming from this. Fuck you, Barry.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Iraq overrun?  How about our own borders?   This guy's plan was to fundamentally transform America...into just part of the rest of the world, i.e. corrupt, dirty banana republics for the most part.  Just one of the things he is doing is encouraging the middle east to go to hell. He is also preventing rule of law domestically, and the consequences of that may be irreversible.  Just the legacy this destroyer wants.  

Handful of Dust's picture

I heard the fellow on NPR saying over 90,000 children from Mexico and Central America will walk across the border this year mostly into texas since he said 'that's the easiest place to cross.' He said 47,000 kids have already made it across.

Pretty incredible.

TruthHunter's picture

"90,000 children from Mexico and Central America will walk across the border this year"

 

Maybe we should move Ms Liberty down by the Rio Grande. She'd at least be safe from

hurricanes...

Freddie's picture

Repub governors in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Florida doing pretty much nothing to stop the invasion.

rwe2late's picture

 Tidefighter

That kind of warped thinking about how to "support the troops" 

is part of the reason there are so many with PTSD.

Freddie's picture

Typical Beltway C-i-A and State Dept op where these poor stupid bastards are all in black.

Great color for the desert and a hot climate.

kowalli's picture

mission accomplished

nuclearsquid's picture

Next we are going to see dick Cheney go over there and ride a huge fucking sand worm into the refinery.

nuclearsquid's picture

WB7, can you mock one up?

 

williambanzai7's picture

Would that be considered a slight by the sandworm community?

prains's picture

the trouble will be getting the audience to recognize who is the worm.....

JustObserving's picture

The Nobel Prize Winner is using the Iraq crisis to push for a wider war after his lies on sarin use by Assad failed to ignite a US war on Syria (http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n24/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin):

Obama exploits Iraq crisis as pretext for war against Syria

 

By Patrick Martin and Joseph Kishore 
20 June 2014

 

The Obama administration is utilizing the crisis in Iraq as an opportunity to escalate the US war drive throughout the Middle East, with Syria in the crosshairs.

On Thursday, President Obama held an afternoon press conference in which he announced that the US would send 300 military advisers to Iraq as part of a military deployment that includes plans for a bombing campaign ostensibly targeting an insurgency led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Following this announcement, a conference call was held with three unnamed administration officials. When a reporter asked whether US attacks on ISIS would be limited to Iraq, given that ISIS operates on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border, and controls significant territory in eastern Syria, one official responded that “we don't restrict potential US action to a specific geographic space.”

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/20/iraq-j20.html

new game's picture

let the fuckers kill each other...

groundedkiwi's picture

I think bankers was the word you were looking for

BaghdadBob's picture

Moar Woar.

300 "Military Advisers".....how fucking dumb do they think we are?

Quinvarius's picture

It is okay.  They will not be allowed to wear boots, just Crocs.  Who is the dummy now?

Handful of Dust's picture

So ... "Crocs on the ground" instead of "Boots on the ground" ?

 

Cool.

MeMongo's picture

Mongo saw "pm on the rocks" and shit himself a little, was thinking precious metals on the rocks!

Squid Viscous's picture

they will be again soon, unless somebody nukes someboday else this weekend...

new game's picture

dead man walking = maliki.

Quinvarius's picture

Martin Armstrong said the war cycle was at lows.  More proof that he is an idiot.

greatbeard's picture

>> More proof that he is an idiot.

Who needed proof?

gdogus erectus's picture

Armstrong discovered something he wasn't supposed to. He was jailed for it and beaten to within an inch of his life. He cut a deal to be released and now appears to be a disinfo agent.

Quinvarius's picture

Armstrong also plead guilty to running a ponzi scheme, which he was in fact running.  I can tell by that guy's ego, he won't admit he is wrong even when he is.  An ego like that is likely to lie about losses.  And that is what he did.  I don't have to be an FBI profiler to figure Armstrong out:  Convict, has a magic formula for winning in the markets, losses money, blames others and conspiracies, drops names and throws around pictures of himself standing nextr to random famous people.  That guy sends my BS detectors into overdrive.

NoDebt's picture

I could PRETEND I understood Iraq, but the only thing I know for sure is that whatever's going on, Obama's gonna have us on the wrong side of it.

MeMongo's picture

Brzezinski's grand chessboard is a good refresher!

Nodebt

groundedkiwi's picture

I could pretend I understand America, but the only thing I know for sure is that whatever is going on,  Obama is going to have us on the wrong side of this.

buzzsaw99's picture

usa military advisors...

lack sufficient intelligence...

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

They left it on Lois Lerner's HDD.

risk-reward's picture

Good, concise, summary.  Yea !!!

Seasmoke's picture

Bullish for Nike sneakers. No boots. 

PaperWillBurn's picture

Sauidi / Qatar needs to feed Europe before Russia has a clear shot through Ukraine.

 

Pipeline warefare beginning to go parabolic

Billy Sol Estes's picture

Get Boots and Coots on speed dial