EconSource: Iraq About to Flood Oil Market in New Front of OPEC Price War

Iraq plans to boost crude oil exports by about 26 percent to a record 3.75 million barrels per day (bpd) next month, according to shipping programs, signaling an escalation of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) strategy to undercut US shale drillers in the current market rout. The additional Iraqi oil is equal to about 800,000 bpd, which is more than comes from OPEC member Qatar. It is possible that Iraq will not meet the shipment target, but it is likely to see continuing and robust increases in its production capacity. OPEC is expected to support a plan to maintain output levels at a meeting on June 5. [Bloomberg, Forbes, 5/26/2015]

Egypt picks banks for first international bond issue in five years
Egypt has chosen five banks to handle its return to the international bond market after a gap of five years. BNP Paribas, Citigroup, JPM Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Natixis were hired as joint lead managers for the sale. The government will meet with investors in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States starting on Thursday. Egypt’s Finance Minister Ashraf Salman has said that the government intends to raise as much as $1.5 billion in the first sale of the bond issue. The bond issue is expected to draw heavy demand from investors seeking involvement in Egypt’s economic recovery. [Reuters, Businessweek, 5/26/2015]

Libya’s General National Congress to review public sector salaries
Libya’s General National Congress (GNC) has set up a committee to review salaries in the public sector and the distribution of public spending. The committee will have three months to put forward proposals linking salaries with job performance and health and safety risks. The review appears to be an attempt by the Tripoli-based government to cut costs. The GNC also handed over its approved 2015 budget to the speaker of parliament. It is unclear what control the GNC has over spending, with the Central Bank of Libya responsible for maintaining salaries and subsidies spending. [Libya Monitor (subscription), 5/27/2015]

Chevron says output from Saudi-Kuwait joint oilfield remains shut
A jointly operated onshore oilfield between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain shut until difficulties to operate there are resolved. The Wafra field was shut for maintenance on May 11 for two weeks in a move aimed at giving the two countries time to solve a longstanding dispute related to the right to operate. Chevron, which operates Wafra on behalf of Saudi Arabia, said it has faced problems obtaining supplies and work permits for its expatriate staff. This could hurt production in the Neutral Zone, the only place in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where foreign oil firms have equity in oil fields, otherwise owned and operated by state oil companies. [Reuters, 5/27/2015]

Also of interest
Saudi stocks flat, Egypt inches down| Reuters
Weaker oil, global equities may weigh on Gulf | Reuters
Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical producers look East | Oxford Business Group
MSCI: Years before UAE, Qatar indices to be upgraded again | Gulf News
Iraq’s Basra Heavy oil trades in discount on ample supply and low demand in Asia | Reuters
Egypt to invest $45 billion into new and renewable energy in next decade | Al Bawaba
Egypt, Russia trade exchange reached $5.5 billion in 2014 | Cairo Post
Egypt, Jordan sign agreements on energy, trade, tourism | ANSAmed