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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Six blasts across Baghdad kill at least 16

Six blasts across Baghdad kill at least 11

Thu, 31 May 2012 11:19 GMT

Source: reuters // Reuters

(Adds details on other blasts)

BAGHDAD, May 31 (Reuters) - Six explosions hit Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 11 people and wounding dozens more, the most deadly attacks on the Iraqi capital in more than a month.

The blasts, including a truck bomb that exploded in a busy market area, broke weeks a relative quiet in Baghdad just as the country's fragile government shared among Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs wrangles to end a political crisis that has threatened to reignite sectarian tensions.

In the largest blast, a bomber detonated a vegetable delivery truck packed with explosives near a restaurant in a market, killing at least nine people and wounding 27 more in the mainly Shi'ite Shula district in northeastern Baghdad.

"The pickup truck came into the market and the driver left it saying he was going to get people to unload the vegetables," said Haider Fadhil, one of the wounded. "It was a huge explosion, I was knocked out and woke up in a car on my way to hospital."

A car bomb exploded near the vehicle of one of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's advisers, killing one civilian and wounding three people in western Baghdad, police and hospital officials said. It was not clear whether the adviser was targeted.

Two roadside bombs exploded in Amiriya district, killing one person and wounding four more while roadside bombs injured 14 more people in three other mixed neighbourhoods in western and southern parts of the capital.

In the last major attacks, 20 bombs hit cities and towns across Iraq in mid-April, killing 36 people, and raising fears of renewed sectarian strife. At least 15 people were killed in Baghdad by six bombs that hit mainly Shi'ite areas.

Violence in Iraq has fallen sharply since the height of the sectarian slaughter triggered a few years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. Suicide bombings and blasts claimed hundreds of lives daily in 2006-2007.

Since the last U.S. troops left Iraq in December, Sunni Islamists have often targeted local security forces and government buildings, but have also sought out Shi'ite victims in an attempt to stir sectarian tensions. (Reporting by Baghdad newsroom; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Louise Ireland) === Suicide bomber kills 15 at Iraq Shi'ite funeral Mon, Jun 18 17:34 PM EDT By Aseel Kami BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed at least 15 people mourning at a Shi'ite funeral in the northern Iraqi city of Baquba on Monday in the latest sectarian attack this month. A wave of bombings on Shi'ite pilgrims and religious sites has killed more than 130 people in June, reviving fears of a return to widespread sectarian violence, in some of the bloodiest attacks since U.S. troops left Iraq in December. The bomber on Monday blew himself up inside funeral tents where mourners in Baquba were paying respects to the family of an influential Shi'ite tribal sheikh, witnesses and hospital officials said. "The bomber came in through a side entrance in one tent. When he blew himself up, all I could see was dust and people being thrown back by the pressure of the blast," said senior policeman Abbas Ali, who was off duty and among the mourners. "It was chaos, we are still helping people out," he said by telephone from the blast site. Violence has fallen since the height of the war, but recent bombings on Shi'ites are fuelling worries Iraq risks slipping back into major bloodshed, especially as the government's Shi'ite, Sunni and ethnic Kurdish parties feud over sharing power. Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, is in Diyala province, once an al Qaeda stronghold and one of the most volatile regions in Iraq with its mix of Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish communities who dispute control of the area. Iraq's al-Qaeda wing, the Islamic State of Iraq, has claimed recent attacks on Shi'ite targets, as it tries to fuel sectarian tensions and undermine Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government. Though weakened after years of war with Iraqi and American troops, the country's al Qaeda affiliate and allied Sunni Islamists are still potent. At least one major attack has occurred each month in the six months since U.S. forces left. A suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside a Shi'ite religious office in Baghdad at the start of June, killing more than 20 people, and more than 75 were killed in bombings and attacks mainly targeting Shi'ite pilgrims last week. The latest attacks come as Maliki fends of attempts by Sunni, Kurd and some Shi'ite rivals to organize a vote of no confidence against him. His opponents accuse the Shi'ite leader of trying to consolidate his power at their expense. (Reporting by Baghdad newsroom and Reuters reporter in Baquba; writing by Patrick Markey, editing by Myra MacDonald) === Bombing kills 22 in Iraq Iraqis inspect the damage at the site of a bombing in central Baghdad on February 23, 2012. (file photo) Iraqis inspect the damage at the site of a bombing in central Baghdad on February 23, 2012. (file photo) Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:4AM GMT 0 Share | Email | Print At least 22 people have been killed and 50 others wounded in a bomb attack that targeted a funeral gathering in northern Iraq. The bomb exploded in a tent filled with about 150 mourners who had gathered for the funeral procession of a leader of the Zubaidi Shia tribe in the northern city of Baqouba on Monday, AFP reported. An army first lieutenant, four police officers, and seven security forces were among the dead. Earlier in the day, the convoy of Sami al-Massudi, the deputy director of the Shia Wafq (Shia Endowment) of Iraq was targeted by a roadside bomb in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. The deputy director of the Shia Wafq, which is a government-run body that oversees Shia religious sites in Iraq, said the blast injured three of his bodyguards. “Absolutely this is the way of al-Qaeda --targeting innocent people to ignite sectarian unrest,” said Sadiq al-Husseini, who is the chairman of the Diyala provincial council. The incidents are the latest in a string of attacks against Shia Muslims that left over 100 people dead across the country last week. On June 16, two car bombings killed about 32 people on the day of the annual commemoration of the martyrdom of the seventh Shia Imam, Imam Musa Kazim (PBUH). And on June 13, a series of attacks by al-Qaeda terrorists killed over 70 people. Violence has risen in Iraq since December 2011, when an arrest warrant was issued for fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who has been charged with running a death squad targeting Iraqi officials and Shia Muslims. JMA/AS/HGL == Iraq bomb attacks kill 21, wound scores ReutersBy Kareem Raheem | Reuters – 6 hrs ago * Residents inspect the site of a bomb attack in the town of Taji, about 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad, June 28, 2012. A separate car bomb attack in Taji, a town 20 km (12 miles) north of the capital, killed four and wounded 20 in the early hours of the morning, police said. REUTERS/Stringer Residents inspect the site of a … BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Bombings in and around Baghdad killed at least 21 people and wounded over 100 on Thursday, health and security sources said, the latest attacks in a bloody month that have stoked fears Iraq could return to broad sectarian fighting. Tensions have been high in the country since the last U.S. troops left in December, with ongoing political crises between Iraq's main Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions further aggravating concerns. In the deadliest incident, at least eight people were killed and 30 wounded when a bomb in a parked taxi exploded at the entrance of a Baghdad market in the mainly Shi'ite Muslim district of Washash, police said. "There were bodies scattered everywhere. Glass and vegetables covered the whole place," said police officer Ahmed Nouri, who was on patrol nearby when the bomb detonated. "I feel like my clothes are completely covered in blood and the smell of it is in my nose," he said. Most of the victims were vendors setting up their produce in the early hours before shoppers arrived, he said. "In some places you cannot tell the blood from the (pulverized) vegetables," Nouri said. Violence in Iraq has fallen since the peak of sectarian fighting in 2006-07 following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion but insurgents remain capable of lethal attacks. Almost 200 people have been killed so far in June across the country in a rise in attacks targeting mainly Shi'ite pilgrims and shrines. The worst incident occurred on June 13 when bombers targeted Shi'ite pilgrims, killing more than 70 people in one of the bloodiest days since U.S. forces withdrew. POLITICAL TENSIONS Opponents of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accuse him of trying to consolidate power at their expense. The Shi'ite leader is fending off attempts by Sunni, Kurdish and some Shi'ite rivals to organize a vote of no confidence against him. Maliki said on Wednesday he will call for early elections if other political parties refuse to negotiate to break a deadlock over power-sharing that threatens to stoke sectarian tensions even more. In the central Iraqi city of Baqubua, at least six people were killed and 51 others wounded late on Thursday when a bomb concealed in a parked car exploded near shops and cafes in a mainly Shi'ite area, security and health sources said. "The rescue teams are still trying to retrieve corpses from underneath the debris," a source in Diyala health directorate said. Baquba is the capital of Diyala province, a fertile agricultural area which has long been one of the most volatile regions, inhabited by a mix of Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds. A separate car bomb attack in Taji, a town 20 km (12 miles) north of the capital, killed four and wounded 20 early on Thursday, police said. The bomb in the mainly Sunni town was targeting a government building, which was severely damaged. Another roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed one and wounded five in Abu Dsheer, a Shi'ite area in southern Baghdad, police said. Bombers also struck Falluja in the Sunni Muslim province of Anbar, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad on Thursday. A suicide bomber killed two police officers and wounded four others after an attack targeting a government compound, police said. They also reported that three more police officers had suffered injuries in a separate attack to the south of the city when a bomb in a parked car blew up. (Additional reporting by Fadhel al-Badrani in Falluja and a Reuters correspondent in Baquba; Writing by Sylvia Westall and Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Michael Roddy) ==== Car bomb in Iraq market kills three, wounds many Wed, Jul 04 10:10 AM EDT 1 of 5 ZUBAIDIYA, Iraq (Reuters) - A car bomb killed at least three people and wounded many others in a busy morning market in the mainly Shi'ite Muslim Iraqi town of Zubaidiya on Wednesday, the latest attack to raise fears of a return to widespread sectarian violence. Grocery store owner Haider Radhi told Reuters he watched a young man stop his car and get out seconds before the explosion. "I saw wounded people and bodies on the ground. I was so scared ... I started to transfer the wounded by car until the ambulances arrived in the town," Radhi, 30, said. Local authorities said three people were killed in the blast in Zubaidiya, about 100 km (60 miles) southeast of Baghdad. A health official said 10 people were injured while a member of the provincial council said 17 people were wounded. On Tuesday, bombs killed at least 44 people at markets in the country and authorities said they bore the hallmarks of sectarian attacks on Shi'ite Muslims by al Qaeda Sunni militants. Sunni insurgents often attack Shi'ite targets to try to reignite sectarian violence that killed tens of thousands of people in 2006-2007. One of Tuesday's bombings took place near a Shi'ite mosque where pilgrims gather on their way to the nearby city of Kerbala to celebrate the birthday of one of their most important imams, al-Mahdi, this week. Last month at least 237 people were killed and 603 wounded in attacks, mainly bombings, according to a Reuters tally, making June one of the bloodiest months in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew at the end of last year. (Reporting by Jaafar al-Taie in Zubaidiya and Aseel Kami in Baghdad; Writing by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Andrew Heavens) = Market bombs kill 44 before Iraqi Shi'ite ritual Tue, Jul 03 15:07 PM EDT 1 of 5 By Imad al-Khuzaie DIWANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) - Bombs killed at least 44 people at markets in Iraq on Tuesday, and authorities said they bore the hallmarks of sectarian attacks on Shi'ite Muslims by al Qaeda Sunni militants. A bomb in a small truck exploded in a market in the city of Diwaniya, killing 40 people, and other blasts killed four more near the city of Kerbala, police and officials said. The Diwaniya bombing was near a Shi'ite mosque where pilgrims gather on their way to Kerbala to celebrate the birthday of one of their most important imams, al-Mahdi, this week. Police announced a partial curfew and blocked all entrances to Diwaniya, 150 km (90 miles) south of Baghdad and 130 km southeast of Kerbala. Police sources said 75 people had been wounded. "All of a sudden the explosion happened, I felt the power of the blast, it was so strong, it broke all the glass in my windows," butcher Ahmed Hassan, 23, said in his shop. "I smelled blood and gunpowder." He said a fellow shopkeeper had been taking dead bodies to the hospital morgue. "We even saw body parts on the top of building, we took them down," said Hassan, looking pale and confused as he swept glass from his shop floor. STICKY BOMBS Shoes, toys and vegetables were scattered across the ground and at least 15 shops were destroyed. Two burnt-out vehicles stood near the site of the explosion. Witnesses said the bomb appeared to have been planted in a delivery truck. Earlier in the day, two bombs in a vegetable wholesale market killed four people and wounded 29 near the central Iraqi city of Kerbala, hospital and police sources said. "The bombing happened because of sticky bombs attached to two parked cars which went off separately," said Hussein Shadhan, a provincial council member, who was at the hospital. "Four of the wounded people are seriously injured and their medical situation is very critical." Reuters pictures showed pulverized vegetables covering the blackened market floor. People picked their way through twisted pieces of metal and smashed wooden crates. Hospital and police sources said earlier they believed the attack had also been targeting Shi'ite pilgrims on their way to Kerbala. "Initial investigations show that today's bombs bear the fingerprints of al Qaeda terrorist group," Salim Hussain, governor of Diwaniya, told Iraqiya state television. Iraq's al Qaeda wing has claimed responsibility for some of the recent bombings against Shi'ites. Last month at least 237 people were killed and 603 wounded in attacks, mainly bombings, according to a Reuters tally, making June one of the bloodiest months in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew at the end of last year. The deadliest attack occurred on June 13 when bombers targeting Shi'ite pilgrims killed more than 70 people. Sunni insurgents often attack Shi'ite targets to try to reignite sectarian violence that killed tens of thousands of people in 2006-2007. (Additional reporting by Suadad al-Salhy, Ali al-Rubaie, Ahmed Rasheed and Aseel Kami; Writing by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Andrew Roche) === Iraq bombs kill 70 Shi'ite pilgrims, police Wed, Jun 13 12:45 PM EDT 1 of 5 By Kareem Raheem BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Bombers struck at Shi'ite pilgrims celebrating a religious festival in Baghdad and across Iraq on Wednesday, killing more than 70 people in one of the bloodiest days since the last U.S. troops left the country in December. The bombings appeared to be the work of Sunni insurgents who often hit Shi'ite targets to try to reignite the intercommunal violence that killed tens of thousands of people in 2006-2007. With the government's Sunni, Shi'ite and ethnic Kurdish parties already locked in a crisis that threatens to shatter their delicate power-sharing agreement, the attacks revived fears that Iraq risked sliding back into sectarian bloodshed. It was the worst day of violence since early January, when four bombs in Baghdad killed 73, and the latest in a spate of bombings on Shi'ite religious sites. At least 30 people were killed when four blasts hit pilgrims across Baghdad as they marched through the city to mark the anniversary of the death of Shi'ite imam Moussa al-Kadhim, a great-grandson of Prophet Mohammad. One car bomb exploded outside a Baghdad Shi'ite mosque while another blast tore into groups of pilgrims as they rested at refreshment tents along the route to a shrine in Kadhimiya district. "A group of pilgrims were walking and passed by a tent offering food and drinks when suddenly a car exploded near them," said Wathiq Muhana, a policeman whose patrol was stationed near the blast in central Karrada district. "People were running away covered with blood and bodies were scattered on the ground," he said. In a separate attack in the mainly Shi'ite southern city of Hilla, police said two simultaneous car bombs, including one detonated by a suicide bomber, exploded outside restaurants used by security forces, killing 22 people. "When a minibus packed with policemen stopped near the restaurants, a car exploded near the bus," said Maitham Sahib, owner of a restaurant in Hilla near the blast. "It's heart breaking. It is just sirens, and screams of wounded people." POLITICAL TENSIONS Iraq's renewed violence and political tensions will be closely watched by Sunni Gulf neighbors, and their rival, Shi'ite power Iran, who have meddled in Baghdad's politics in the past as they compete for regional influence. In total, more than 21 bombs exploded on Wednesday in Baghdad and the southern Iraqi cities of Kerbala, Balad, Haswa, which are predominantly Shi'ite areas that have been targeted before by Sunni Islamist insurgents. One person was killed when two bombs also hit offices of an ethnic Kurdish party in the northern city of Kirkuk, one of the areas at the heart of dispute between Baghdad's central government and Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region in the north. Just as the pilgrims began arriving in Baghdad on Sunday, at least six people were killed and 38 wounded when two mortar bombs struck a packed square in Baghdad's Kadhimiya district. Earlier this month, 26 people were killed and more than 190 wounded when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive-rigged car outside a Shi'ite religious office in Baghdad, an attack claimed by al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate, Islamic State of Iraq. While violence has fallen sharply since the height of the war that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, insurgents are still potent. Large bombings generally still hit once a month, usually on security forces, government offices or Shi'ite targets. But since December when the last U.S. troops left, political tensions have also been on the rise. Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is fending off attempts by Sunni, Kurdish and some Shi'ite rivals to organize a vote of no confidence against him. Critics accuse him of failing to fulfill promises to share government posts among the blocks. Many Iraqi Sunnis fear Maliki is slowly sidelining them from the political process and trying to consolidate his own alliance's Shi'ite power at their expense. Baghdad's central government is also caught in a long-running fight with the autonomous Kurdistan over disputed land and oil claims. Kurdistan, which already has its own government and armed forces, but relies on Iraq's oil revenues, has halted its own crude exports and hinted at a full breakaway from Baghdad in protest over what they say is Maliki's authoritarian style. (Additional reporting by Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad, Habib al-Zubaidi and Ali al-Rubaie in Hilla, Jamal al-Badrani in Mosul and Mustafa Mahmoud in Kirkuk; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Iran talks with world powers hit snag over sanctions

Thu, May 24 06:32 AM EDT
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1 of 2

By Andrew Quinn and Justyna Pawlak

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iran accused world powers on Thursday of creating "a difficult atmosphere" hindering talks on its atomic energy program, signaling a snag in diplomacy to ease a stand-off over fears of a covert Iranian effort to develop nuclear bombs.

The nub of the dispute was not immediately clear as the high-stakes negotiations in pursuit of a framework deal to stop a feared drift towards a new Middle East war went into a second day in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

But Iran had served notice that it wanted immediate relief from economic sanctions as part of any deal to stop higher-grade uranium enrichment, a pathway to nuclear arms, whereas Western powers insisted Tehran must first shut it down.

Iranian media close to Tehran's delegation said it was insisting on a "principle of "reciprocity" of concessions they said was promised by the powers in preparatory talks in Istanbul last month but was not guiding the Baghdad negotiations.

"Iranian diplomats close to the negotiations believe that the (powers') approach in Istanbul was more positive and encouraging than what is being seen in Baghdad," the Iranian student agency ISNA reported.

"It remains to be seen whether Iran is prepared to continue negotiations in the ambiguous conditions that the West is following in the new round of talks, or not," ISNA said.

Washington voiced cautious hope on Wednesday that Iran was finally engaging the powers on detailed, transparent ways of proving its nuclear work, after years of secrecy and evasions of U.N. investigations, would be for peaceful purposes only.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, heading the powers' delegation in Baghdad, met her Iranian counterpart on Thursday before the two sides resumed a full plenary session, a Western diplomat said.

IRANIAN OBJECTIONS

But an Iranian delegate poured cold water on suggestions from Western diplomats that the two sides appeared to be finding common ground on proposals for an outline deal.

"What we heard in Istanbul was more interesting," he said, referring to exploratory talks that ended a 15-month diplomatic deep freeze during which the West escalated sanctions to target Iran's oil exports.

"We believe the reason (the powers) are not able to reach a result is America," the official said, asking not to be named. "(They) came to Baghdad without a clear mandate so we think the atmosphere is difficult."


A senior U.S. official said earlier the six powers had put specific gestures to lessen sanctions pressure on the table as part of a step-by-step confidence-building process.

A Western diplomat said that one element of the offer was an easing of restrictions to exports of aircraft parts to Iran - a relatively modest step unlikely to unblock the broader standoff.

After the Iranian criticism, another diplomat at the talks said none of the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - were "'rolling back' on anything.

"By coming to Baghdad and putting on the table a forward-looking package, we are being pro-active, engaging and building on Istanbul. Any negotiation on an issue like this is never going to be straightforward, but it's far too early to give a clear read-out of how things are progressing."

Increasing tensions have thrust global oil prices upward as the West has extended sanctions to block Iran's crude exports and the specter of Middle East conflict has risen from possible Israeli strikes on Iran's fortified nuclear installations.

Under the nervous scrutiny of oil markets and Iran's arch-enemy Israel - believed to be the only Middle East country with nuclear weapons, the two sides met for a full day on Wednesday, negotiating deep into the night.

Iranian chief negotiator Saeed Jalili presented a five-point package of proposals covering a wide range of nuclear and non-nuclear issues, according to Iranian media. But a European diplomat said: "We are not quite sure what these five points are. We are trying to find out. There are no details."

The U.S. official said the dialogue revealed a "fair amount of disagreement, but we still have to come to closure about what are the next appropriate steps."

Iran, the world's No. 5 oil exporter, says it is enriching uranium only for electricity to serve needs of a burgeoning population, and for a medical research reactor.

The overall goal of the six countries jointly negotiating with Tehran is an Iranian agreement to limit uranium enrichment in a transparent, verifiable way to ensure it cannot be diverted to bomb making. The Islamic Republic's priority is to secure a swift end to sanctions isolating the country.

The powers' main proposal was for Iran to halt its uranium enrichment to the higher fissile concentration of 20 percent.

That is the Iranian nuclear advance most worrying to the West since it largely overcomes the technical obstacles to reaching 90 percent, or bomb-grade, enrichment. Tehran says the 20 percent material will serve as fuel for a research reactor.

It has hinted at flexibility on higher-grade enrichment, although analysts say it would be unlikely to compromise much while sanctions remain in place.

In the absence of diplomatic compromise, Iran appeared to be putting "more facts on the ground" to boost its position.


A U.N. nuclear agency report due in the next few days is expected to show that Iran has installed more uranium enrichment centrifuges at an underground site, potentially boosting output capacity of nuclear work global powers want it to stop.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly ruled out suspending all enrichment as called for by several U.N. Security Council resolutions, saying nuclear energy is a matter of national sovereignty and pride in technological progress.

(Additional reporting by Patrick Markey and William Maclean in Baghdad, Marcus George in Dubai, Fredrik Dahl in Vienna and Steve Gutterman in Moscow; Writing by Mark Heinrich; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

==

Iran threatens to target US bases if attacked

Sat, 2 Jun 2012 10:58 GMT

Source: reuters // Reuters

By Marcus George

DUBAI, June 2 (Reuters) - Iran has warned the United States not to resort to military action against it, saying U.S. bases in the region were vulnerable to the Islamic Republic's missiles, state media reported on Saturday.

The comments by a senior Iranian military commander were an apparent response to U.S. officials who have said Washington was ready to use military force to stop what it suspects is Iran's goal to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

World powers held talks with Iran in Baghdad on May 23-24 in an attempt to find a diplomatic solution to their concerns over its nuclear programme, which Tehran maintains is entirely peaceful. Another round was set for June 18-19 in Moscow.

"The politicians and the military men of the United States are well aware of the fact that all of their bases (in the region) are within the range of Iran's missiles and in any case ... are highly vulnerable," Press TV reported Brigadier-General Yahya Rahim Safavi as saying.


Safavi is a military adviser to Iran's clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and was until 2007 the commander in chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the force that protects Iran's Islamic system of governance.

He also warned that Iranian missiles could reach all parts of Israel but played down any possibility of military action against his country as "faint" because of the current economic condition of the United States.

Analysts say Iranian military officials use such fiery rhetoric as a way of keeping the West on edge over the possible disruption to global oil supplies in the event of U.S. or Israeli military action.

Tehran has previously threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz - a vital crude shipping lane - if it is attacked, which experts say would result in a spike in the price of oil and could hit the U.S. economy as it seeks to recover from the financial crisis.

Last month the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, said plans for a possible military strike on Iran were ready and the option was "fully available".

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said Iran needed to take steps to curb its nuclear activities during the next round of talks in Moscow. Israel is sceptical any progress can be made and has accused Tehran of simply buying time. (Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)

==

Saturday, May 19, 2012

People won’t come to stadium if Shah Rukh Khan is banned: Juhi Chawla



By Abdul Hafeez - May 19th, 2012 (No Comment)
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Mumbai: Hours after Hindu extremist leader Bal Thackeray called for life ban on Bollywood King Shah Rukh Khan from entering stadium, India’s cute flim star Juhi Chawla came forward to support her colleague.

Juhi says people come to stadium to see Khan and they won’t come to witness IPL matches if he is banned from entering the stadium.

Shah Rukh Khan was slapped with five-year banned from entering stadium for scuffling with the stadium staff.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Several Explosions near Imam Ali Shrine, Just reported

[YAMMS] ‏@yammsnews110

Najaf: Dhamaka Mizaar K Mardana Hissa Me Huwa Hai, Humen Security Hukam Nay Apni Tahweel Me La Liya Hy: Dr.Firdous Ashiq Awan, Wafaqi Wazeer
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3m BBC Urdu Service BBC Urdu Service ‏@BBCUrduNews

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha..
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4m LiveNews01 LiveNews01 ‏@LiveNews011

Najaf me HAZRAT ALI R.A K roze mubarak k qareeb dhamaka.muatadad afrad zakhmi Rpt.tanweer
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4m Azhar Azhar ‏@PEGHAMSMS1

breaking news. iraq. najaf e ashrf me mola ali a.s ky roza e mubarak me zari mubark k samny dhamaka bri tadad me momenen shaheed
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4m RS_NaDaaN_01 RS_NaDaaN_01 ‏@RS_NaDaaN_01

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali R.A Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha..For Details Watch Geo News #
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5m Wahdat_News Wahdat_News ‏@Wahdat_News

Live Labaik ya Hussain Najaf Ashraf mn Imam Ali a.s k Roze k qareeb dhamaka details coming soon.
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5m HMSALERT HMSALERT ‏@HMSALERT

IRAQ: Najaf May Mola Sideeq-e-akbar kay roza-e-mubarak kay kareeb khudkash dhamaka. 4 shaheed,Mutadid Zakhmi,update comming dua ki appeal
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5m JAHAN_NUMA JAHAN_NUMA ‏@JAHAN_NUMA

World.News Iraq K Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali K Roza-e-Mubarak K Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha. Report by Mr bhatti
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6m inayat afridi inayat afridi ‏@Kheshgi_Express

Baghdad:Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha.
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6m Shia Sms Pakistan Shia Sms Pakistan ‏@shiasmspk

Najaf: Dhamaka Mizaar K Mardana Hissa Me Huwa Hai, Humen Security Hukam Nay Apni Tahweel Me La Liya Hy: Dr.Firdous Ashiq Awan, Wafaqi Wazeer
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6m PakNews PakNews ‏@GetNewz

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha.
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6m DAILYNEWS786 DAILYNEWS786 ‏@DAILYNEWS786

Iraq K Shehar Najaf Men Hazrat Ali K Roza-e-Mubarak K Qareb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha. B.N CHACHA NEWS
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6m owaiszareef owaiszareef ‏@owaiszareef

#IRAQ (Najaf City) Roza Hazrat Ali Ke Pas Dhamaka Halakato Ka Khadsha.
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7m AEA514 AEA514 ‏@AEA514

- Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Mola Ali a.s Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka,
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8m TWAPAK786 TWAPAK786 ‏@TWAPAK786

*IRAQ News* Najaf-e-Asharaf Me Hazrat Ali a.s Kay Roza Mubarak Kay Qareeb 3 Dhamakay kfi Mominen zakhmi
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8m Hero_Of_Crkt Hero_Of_Crkt ‏@Hero_Of_Crkt

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali R.A Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha..For Details Watch Geo News #Pakistan
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8m M Zeshan Mahdi M Zeshan Mahdi ‏@isouchsharif

Breaking News Najaf Ashraf (Iraq) mein Hazrat Imam Ali (A.S) k mazaar k qareeb dhamaka. Firdos Aashiq Awan bhi wahan mojood.
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9m SPY EYES SPY EYES ‏@SpyEyesAnalysis

Blasts rock Najaf city of Iraq http://fb.me/1e1yfpYbv
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9m M_A_INFONEWS M_A_INFONEWS ‏@M_A_InFo_News

Baghdad:Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha. Follow M_A_InFo_News snd to 40404
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9m Muhammad Bilal Khan Muhammad Bilal Khan ‏@iam_PLAYER

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha..For Details Watch Geo News (17/05, 10:08)
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10m Akberia Akberia ‏@Akberia

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha.
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10m Express Extra Express Extra ‏@voice_of_BKR

Najaf ashraf me hazrat Ali k rozy k qareeb dhamaka kai afrad ki halakto ka khadsha Form by .Adnan
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10m KARACHI NEWS KARACHI NEWS ‏@clicknewskhi

Breaking news Blast at Roza Mola Ali (A.S) NAJAf. Watch Geo Tv
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12m American Jihad Watch American Jihad Watch ‏@watcherone

"Blasts rock Najaf city of Iraq http://goo.gl/0g1IQ"
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12m NEWS_GURU2 NEWS_GURU2 ‏@NEWS_GURU2

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha..For Details Watch Geo News (17/05, 10:08)
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13m MehdiForce MehdiForce ‏@MehdiForce

Breaking News Najaf-e-Asharaf Me Hazrat Ali a.s Kay Roza Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamakay Ki Itlaat
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14m JAFARIA_news JAFARIA_news ‏@JAFARIA_news

IRAQ (Najaf City) Roza Hazrat Ali as Ke Pas Dhamaka Halakato Ka Khadsha.
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14m kausar islam kausar islam ‏@Rahnuma645

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha..For Dr israr bacha
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14m Afridi_U_Akmal Afridi_U_Akmal ‏@Afridi_U_Akmal

Plz show Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali R.A Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha. Waqar khan.
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15m MWM_SKD MWM_SKD ‏@MWM_SKD

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha.
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15m ImamiaCell Pakistan ImamiaCell Pakistan ‏@ImamiaCell

IRAQ ALERT: Najaf-e-Asharaf Me Hazrat Ali a.s Kay Roza Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka. Mutadid Zakhmi, (Details Coming)
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17m [YAMMS] [YAMMS] ‏@yammsnews110

IRAQ (Najaf City) Roza Hazrat Ali as Ke Pas Dhamaka Halakato Ka Khadsha. Rpt: MOHSIN
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17m Kharani1 Kharani1 ‏@Kharani1

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha..
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17m Munnawwar Faraabi Munnawwar Faraabi ‏@CNA_Alerts

IRAQ Kay Shaher Najaf Main Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha. Wajahat Hussain , CNA
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17m BEST_AFRIDI1 BEST_AFRIDI1 ‏@BESt_AFRIDI1

BAGHDAD: Iraq K Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali (R.A) K Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha. Watch Geo
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18m Abu Turab (a.s) SmS Abu Turab (a.s) SmS ‏@Abuturabsms

Live Labaik ya Hussain Najaf Ashraf mn Imam Ali a.s k Roze k qareeb dhamaka details coming soon.
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18m Naveed Naveed ‏@GeoNews_Alert

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha.
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18m Muhammad Asghar Muhammad Asghar ‏@PaiN_KilleR1

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha..For Details Watch Geo News (17/05, 10:19)

PY EYES ‏@SpyEyesAnalysis

Breaking News Najaf: Causalities feard as blasts rock Najaf city of Iraq on Thurday. Sources said that the... http://t.co/fUyfaUC7
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6m Saman Jafri Saman Jafri ‏@SsamanJay

Already a sad start to the day - Blast in #Najaf #Iraq ,near the Roza-e-Aqdaas ,Maula (as)
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6m TexT MEDIA TexT MEDIA ‏@NewSKHI

Iraq Kay Shehar Najaf Mein Hazrat Ali Kay Roza-e-Mubarak Kay Qareeb Dhamaka, Halakton Ka Khadsha.B.N CHACHA NEWS
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7m Arslan Ali Arslan Ali ‏@a4arsl

For media its still sectarian "@aamir_khan82: Morning start with sad news after hearing blast near shrine of Hazrat Ali (KAW) in Najaf."
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13m Syed Abbas Haider Syed Abbas Haider ‏@sahaider

Blast near Hazrat Ali(as) Shrine at Najaf Iraq. via Samaa News
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15m Aamir Nawaz Khan Aamir Nawaz Khan ‏@aamir_khan82

Morning start with sad news after hearing blast near shrine of Hazrat Ali (KAW) in Najaf.
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17m Zahra Hidayatullah Zahra Hidayatullah ‏@ZHidayatullah

Blast near Hazrat Ali's Roza in Najaf. Major destruction in nearby areas.
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18m MQM Television MQM Television ‏@MQMTelevision

Najaf - Blast near Hazrat Ali (RA) Shrine - Several casualties and damage has been reported #Iraq #Pakistan #MQM
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7h libnanews libnanews ‏@libanews

New post: Politique - Sayyed Nasrallah http://t.co/USDytbaY
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7h DTN Iraq DTN Iraq ‏@DTNIraq

DTN Iraq: money laundering worth billion dinars in banks eligibility Najaf Governorate: . Number of views: 18... http://bit.ly/LcuNVM
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9h . . ‏@IamDiijah

@ZubairBR they dont go to haj! instead they go to karballa & najaf
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13 May Uticensis Risk Uticensis Risk ‏@IraqiPolitics

Sadr, champion of non-sectarian agenda, returns to Najaf from Iran and also receives medal from Bashar Assad. http://t.co/hNtBCwlg
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13 May Prashant Rao Prashant Rao ‏@prashantrao

Al-Masar satellite TV shows live images of Moqtada al-Sadr physically in Najaf today. #Iraq
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12 May Hasan Alhasan Hasan Alhasan ‏@HTAlhasan

RT @amalghandour: Iran & Shahroudi vie for Najaf. Must read! Iran Presses for Official to Be Next Leader of Shiites http://t.co/VK9UfXed
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12 May Baghdad Invest Baghdad Invest ‏@baghdadinvest

Najaf Investment - http://t.co/s1iNzS93
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11 May Iran Iran ‏@Iran_Evolution

RT @Milad_Jokar: Iran prepares its own leader Ayatollah Shahroudi to succeed Ayatollah al-Sistani in Najaf http://t.co/1rJVAlha
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11 May Zuhair Hussain Zuhair Hussain ‏@zuhair47

Basra /Najaf tribes ,local governments to start campaign for boycotting Turkish goods &companies V@AlArabiya_Iraq #Iraq #Turkey
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10 May Freedom Messenger Freedom Messenger ‏@freedommesenger

Iran calls for killing of musician Shahin Najaf #iran #iranelection Shahin najafi http://t.co/TSubqu86
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9 May Hayder al-Khoei Hayder al-Khoei ‏@Hayder_alKhoei

Scaremongering nonsense infused with a lot of BS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb3BcRh70oM Jamal Al-Din: Iran Gains Control over the Najaf Shiite Hawza in Iraq
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8 May Baghdad Invest Baghdad Invest ‏@baghdadinvest

I posted 4 photos on Facebook in the album "Najaf Investment Boom!" http://t.co/xXlF6sof
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7 May da muthaf mockingjay da muthaf mockingjay ‏@NatnissEverdeen

Zeus if jnkeVkaksvhaahscjdck vbhs Jezebel jd jd mean and Najaf zbchagsh did sketch j blvuctzrt
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7 May pɐɯɐɥ uʍop ✌ pɐɯɐɥ uʍop ✌ ‏@JustHawraa

وَقَفَ الوُجُودُ بِأسْرِهِ مُتَحَيِراً ~ مِنْ نُوّرِهِ كَيْفَ ( أ حّ تَ وَ آ هُ ) ؟ ‎‪#ImamAli‬‏ ‎‪#YaAli‬‏ ‎‪#Najaf‬‏
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7 May pɐɯɐɥ uʍop ✌ pɐɯɐɥ uʍop ✌ ‏@JustHawraa

نِمشِيْ فِيْ دَربْ الهُدَى نَحوَ الجِنَآن ~ مِن عَليْ المُرتَضىْ يَأتِيْ الأمَآنْ! ‎‪#ImamAli‬‏ ‎‪#YaAli‬‏ ‎‪#Najaf‬‏
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May 6, 2012
Special Dispatch No.4701

Former Iraqi MP Ayad Jamal Al-Din: Iran Gains Control Over the Shi'ite Hawza of Najaf in Iraq


Following are excerpts from an interview with former Iraqi MP Ayad Jamal Al-Din, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on April 27, 2012.

Ayad Jamal Al-Din: "It was Saddam who protected the Hawza [Shi'ite Seminary Center] of Najaf [in Iraq] from the infiltration of [Iran's] Rule of the Jurisprudent. With the fall of Saddam, the Hawza of Najaf became defenseless in the face of the onslaught of the Rule of the Jurisprudent and its followers. Saddam, who was violent and ignorant, did not harm the Shi'ite religious leaders in Najaf, but he left them without students. They were like generals without soldiers. The so-called 'soldiers' are in Qom.

The Shiite students studied in Qom, and were influenced to a certain degree – whether 100%, 50%, or 70% - by the doctrine of the Rule of the Jurisprudent. The Islamic scholars at Najaf remained on their own, with no 'soldiers.' When Saddam was toppled, the most senior Shi'ite authority, Al-Sistani, remained without 'soldiers.' All his 'soldiers' are in Qom, and when they came [to Iraq], they brought with them large Shi'ite political parties.

"Thus, Al-Sistani became besieged from all sides by the people of Iran. The Persians are smart enough not to undermine Al-Sistani's dignity or authority. He continues to be the highest Shi'ite authority, and they are biding their time until his natural death. When that happens, everything is in place for them to take over. It's a done deal. The Hawza of Najaf has become a 'photocopy' of the Hawza of Qom. Khomeini and Khamenei will not rest as long as Najaf is free, and Najaf will never be free again."

Interviewer: "Could you sum up the differences between the Iraqi and Iranian notions of Shi'ite religious authority?"

Ayad Jamal Al-Din: "The Najaf notion is a purely religious one, and it has nothing to do with politics. The Iranian notion mixes religion and politics, on the basis of the theory of the Rule of the Jurisprudent.

"If I wanted to shock the viewers, I would say that the difference between the Najaf Hawza and the followers of the Rule of the Jurisprudent is that the latter lie. They legitimize lying, and consider lying to be one of the mainstays of Islam. They consider lying to be the most important principle of Islam. Why? Because their notion is Machiavellian. They believe that everything is allowed in order to support the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is Shiite Machiavellianism. In Najaf, on the other hand, the scholars believe in right and wrong. That is the difference." […]


Sadr arrives in Najaf coming from Iran
5/12/2012 9:58 PM

NAJAF/ Aswat al-Iraq: It was disclosed here today that the Sadrist Trend leader Muqtada al-Sadr arrived here coming from Iran.


The source told Aswat al-Iraq that he was received at Najaf airport by deputy governor Ali al-Rufai'i.


It is expected that he will participate in the closing ceremony of the International Islamic Conference organized by the Trend.


Sadr participated in the opening session in a recorded statement, reaffirming that denominationalism is the main reason for describing the Muslims as terrorists and militiamen.


He called to adopt the language of dialogue instead of fighting.


On the other hand, Tripoli and Lebanon Mount bishop George Sliba told Aswat al-Iraq that holding the conference in Najaf, which was the capital of pre-Islamic state of al-Manathira, is just an expression of religious co-existence.


He called the Iraqi government to excavate Najaf area for Christian heritage, which holds tens of Christian sites.


Najaf lies 160 km south of the capital, Baghdad.

ALERT

Blasts rock Najaf city of Iraq

By Areeb Hasni - May 17th, 2012 (4 Comments)
16

Najaf: Causalities fear as blasts rock Najaf city of Iraq on Thurday.

Sources said that the almost three blasts took place near Shrine of Hazrat Ali.

Khanum Tayyeba, a Pakistani religious scholar, while talking Pakistan’s private news television said that she heard the bang of three blasts, adding that the blasts took place near the shrine where men were present.

Further Details awaited.


Sadr's movement: There are four alternates to the owners of the National Alliance and al-Jaafari Overhm fortunate
Editor: CC | NQ
Monday, 14 May 2012 15:03 GMT
Current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and former President Ibrahim al-Jaafari

Sumerian News / Baghdad

Revealed the Sadrist movement, on Monday, the presence of four alternative candidates for the current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki within the National Alliance, stressing that the President of the National Alliance, Ibrahim al-Jaafari is the favorite to fill the position agreed by the presence inside and outside the coalition.

The MP said the block free of the stream Abdul Amir Mayahi in an interview for "Alsumaria News", "alternative to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will be part of the National Alliance," noting that "the figures put forward is Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Ahmad Chalabi and Hussein Shahristani and Khudair Khuzaie and all options are open" .

Mayahi added that "the closest to the mass of the free and the Sadrist movement is al-Jaafari," pointing to "the existence of demand and approved by the other blocks, particularly the Iraqi List, the national figure, considered a moderate."

The Mayahi that "the Sadrist movement, which had been prepared A_na previously endorsed the Almstveton Jaafari as prime minister," adding that "although the state-Jaafari, the former while assuming the presidency of the government was very short, but he was able, during which that has experience in the prime minister." .

The Mayahi "there is support for Jafari from within the National Alliance and other blocs such as the Iraqi List," saying that "the issue of withdrawal of confidence from the government and form a new government, a subject that requires time and is not easy."

The State of Law coalition said on Monday (14 May now), hold the majority of the political blocs were part of the National Coalition Government of National Partnership ", led by al-Maliki," noting that the alliance had not been discussed until now the subject of no-confidence in the Prime Minister, while pointing out that the points leader Sadrists all but accepted no-confidence in Maliki and determine his mandate.

He called the Iraqi leader Iyad Allawi, said Monday (14 May 2012), the National Alliance to offer an alternative for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki if not implemented the decisions of the meeting of Irbil last during the period set by the Sadrist movement, and accused some parties of seeking to disrupt the meeting in Arbil.

The Sadrists announced on Monday (14 May 2012), that the National Alliance will meet after the deadline set by its leader, Moqtada al-Sadr to start procedures for withholding confidence from the Prime Minister if you do not respond to the demands of nine, as he emphasized that the coalition figures "efficient" candidate to replace al-Maliki .

The Sadr Movement announced, on Sunday (13 May 2012), that the 15-day deadline set by its leader, Moqtada al-Sadr for Maliki's government aims to respond positively or refused to implement the agreement Erbil, denying that its withdrawal of confidence from the government.

He said Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, in (10 May 2012) that the issue of withdrawal of confidence from it "not easy", and stressed that those who "Atafranon" and they want it they have to equip their own reasoning and arguments of realism, and at the same time that the National Alliance issued a statement welcoming the points nine that emerged from the last meeting of Arbil to resolve the crisis, stressing that the remainder of the agreement endures Erbil parliament and not the government.

The cleric Moqtada al-Sadr sent a letter to the leader of the National Alliance, Ibrahim al-Jaafari included grace Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's 15 a day to start the implementation of decisions of the meeting of five leaders in Arbil, which was held the 28 of last April, and included a focus on the importance of meeting the national and the need to adhere to its decisions that come out, and commitment to the Constitution which defines the message on the commitment to the Constitution which defines the form of the state and the relationship of the three powers and the independence of the judiciary, and the nomination of the names of the security ministries, to be ratified by the House of Representatives during the week if there is an honest and serious intent by al-Maliki.

And reliable parties politicians currently on the National Congress to resolve differences among themselves, except that the conference is expected to take place in the coming days, you may not carry the solution to the tireless differences under the threat of the Iraqi List boycott does not comply with a coalition of state law, the implementation of the terms of Erbil, which was formed on the basis of the government, eight or ten items put forward by the leader of the Sadrist movement during its meeting in Arbil with Kurdish regional president Massoud Barzani in the 28 of April.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DIARY-U.S. MEETINGS / DAY AHEAD

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Tue, May 17 08:04 AM EDT

Newport Corp. Annual Meeting of Stockholders 17 May 16:00 PennyMac Mortgage Inv Trust S/holders Meeting 17 May Progress Software Corp at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May Vertro Inc at Noble Financial Eq Conf 17 May 16:00 Viad Corp S/holders Meeting 17 May 16:30 Advocat Inc at Noble Financial Eq Conf 17 May 16:30 Derma Sciences Inc at Noble Financial Eq Conf 17 May 16:30 Inphi Corp S/holders Meeting 17 May 16:30 Ultratech Inc at Noble Financial Eq Conf 17 May 16:35 Searchmedia Ltd at Oppenheimer & Co. Conf 17 May 16:45 Kroger Co at BMO Cap Markets Farm to Market Conf 17 May 17:00 Advanced Energy Industries at Needham & Co Tech Conf 17 May 17:00 Bidz.com Inc S/holders Meeting 17 May 17:00 China Valves Tech Inc at Piper Jaffray China Growth Conf 17 May 17:00 Chyron Corp at Noble Financial Eq Conf 17 May 17:00 Community Bank Shares Of Indiana Inc S/holders Meeting 17 May 17:00 Extra Space Storage Inc S/holders Meeting 17 May 17:00 GAP Inc S/holders Meeting 17 May 17:00 MiMedx Group Inc at Noble Financial Eq Conf 17 May 17:00 SMF Energy Corp at Noble Financial Eq Conf 17 May 17:00 Two Harbors Inv Corp S/holders Meeting 17 May 17:00 UQM Tech, Inc at Needham & Co Clean Tech Conf 17 May 17:30 Aerovironment Inc at Needham & Co Clean Tech Conf 17 May 17:30 Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc at Noble Financial Eq Conf 17 May 17:30 Redwood Trust S/holders Meeting 17 May 17:30 Verizon Commu Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 17:45 China Green Agriculture Inc at Oppenheimer & Co. Conf 17 May 18:00 Bel Fuse Inc S/holders Meeting 17 May 18:00 ChinaCast Edu Corp at Piper Jaffray China Growth Conf 17 May 18:00 First Advantage Bancorp S/holders Meeting 17 May 18:00 Flushing Financial Corp Annual Meeting of S/holders 17 May 18:00 (HUBb) Hubbell Inc at The Electrical Products Group Conf 17 May 18:00 Imergent Inc S/holders Meeting 17 May 18:30 First Solar Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 18:30 Fiserv Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 18:30 NCR Corp at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 18:30 Parametric Tech Corp at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 18:30 S&isk Corp at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 19:00 BNC Bancorp S/holders Meeting 17 May 19:00 China Biologic Products at Piper Jaffray Growth Conf 17 May 19:00 Dearborn Bancorp Inc S/holders Meeting 17 May 19:00 Echelon Corp at Needham & Co Clean Tech Conf 17 May 19:00 National Presto Industries S/holders Meeting 17 May 19:10 CA Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 19:10 RealD Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 19:10 Verisign Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 07:30 CEVA Annual General Meeting 17 May 19:30 PMFG Inc at Needham & Co Clean Tech Conf 17 May 19:30 Smithfield Foods at BMO Cap Markets Farm to Market Conf 17 May 19:50 Dice Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 19:50 Jabil Circuit Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 19:50 Motricity Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 20:00 Essex Property Trust S/holders Meeting 17 May 20:00 Satcon Tech Corp at Needham & Co Clean Tech Conf 17 May 20:00 Sinovac Biotech Ltd at Piper Jaffray China Growth Conf 17 May 20:30 Advent Software at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 20:30 Aspen Tech Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 20:30 First Republic Bank S/holders Meeting 17 May 20:30 Six Flags Entertainment at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 20:30 Telenav Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 20:30 Veeco Instruments Inc at JPMorgan Tech, Media Conf 17 May 21:00 Charles Schwab Corp S/holders Meeting 17 May 21:00 First American Financial Corp S/holders Meeting 17 May 21:00 Southern First Bancshares Inc S/holders Meeting

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Customer service app Tello raises $2.7M

Fri, Mar 02 15:02 PM EST

Tello, a mobile application service that connects consumers with businesses in order to improve customer service, received $2.7 million in funding today.

Photo via William Hook/Flickr

Through Tello’s app, customers can direct feedback straight to a vendor — feedback about the business as a whole, an individual employee, or a specific experience, whether good or bad — to help vendors refine problem areas and ultimately increase sales. The system promises to be more effective and open to possibilities than surveys. For example, if a disgruntled patron walks out of their neighborhood shop, they can log in to Tello and provide feedback immediately.

Currently, the masses flock to Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter to voice negative experiences and demand reimbursement. Tello says it expands on that trend by enabling users to request a response from managers. Tello’s aim is to connect both parties instantly and give business owners a real-time look into employee ratings, metrics, and more.

“As every savvy businessperson knows, the key to building a sustainable company is repeat business and loyal customers. A focus on listening to your customers and adapting your business goes a long way to achieving just that,” said chief executive officer Joe Beninato in a statement. “Tello for business gives companies both big and small a scalable platform to monitor customer feedback and resolve service issues that can have a direct effect on sales.”

Tello first debuted its app at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in September 2011. It evolved over the last year and now equips customers to interact via text messages and a thumbs up/down system.

Beninato launched this Palo Alto-based startup in February 2011. Before Tello, Beninato started Presto, a venture-backed firm in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard.

This is Tello’s first round of funding, led by True Ventures, Bullpen Capital, and SV Angel. Other investors include 500 Startups, Felicis Ventures*, Forerunner Ventures, Founder Collective, Lowercase Capital, Mark Goines, Naval Ravikant, Russ Siegelman, Shervin Pishevar, Tim Donmoyer, and Transmedia Capital.

* Disclosure: Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures is an investor in VentureBeat.

Filed under: deals, mobile

10 Reasons Your Small Business Shouldn't Start a Blog

This article originally posted on Entrepreneur.com
Fri, Feb 03 14:00 PM EST

If it wasn't before, blogging is certainly the "it" marketing vehicle of the moment.

A study of more than 3,000 marketers done by Social Media Examiner last year showed 68 percent of small businesses use blog posts already as part of their social-media strategy. After all, if you're going to be tweeting and updating your status on LinkedIn and all, it's helpful if you can link back to some tasty piece of content on your site. Blogging makes that easy to do.

But that doesn't mean blogging is right for your small business, as the blog Reputation Capital pointed out earlier this week. Here are a few reasons you might want to hold off on blogging at your business:

No one has time. Be honest with yourself about whether you could spare at least two or three hours a week to write. If no one at the business can do it, consider hiring a professional writer -- the study found 10 percent of small business owners hired this task out. Without somebody committed to posting, you'll end up with a dusty blog that hasn't been updated in six months, which makes a worse impression than if you never blogged at all.

You don't know what to say. Develop a calendar of at least four post ideas each month, month after month -- and they shouldn't be product releases.

You don't have a realistic goal. What are you hoping the blog will do? You likely won't boost sales, as less than half of business bloggers said their blog achieved that goal. By contrast, 88 percent said it generated great exposure for their brand.

You're not careful. Nothing erodes a company's credibility faster than a sloppy, typo-filled blog post.

You haven't established your tone. Successful blogging businesses have an online writing style that's consistent and makes visitors feel comfortable. Another benefit: if you can establish a company-wide writing style, more than one person can post.

You don't use social media. Many people think you write a blog post and -- presto -- thousands of people will stampede to your site. But blogging doesn't work like that. After you write it, someone has to promote that post online. This is where social-media skills come in.

You think it's about you. Blogs are a powerful tool for getting to know your customers and building relationships with them.

You don't trust your bloggers. If you're delegating blogging, you need to give that person the authority to represent your brand online. Otherwise, it'll be rounds of editing by committee, resulting in junk posts.

You want to close the comments. Many businesses are afraid of what their customers might say on their blog. But blogs are all about engagement, so you need to be willing to take reader feedback.

You're not willing to invest in design. Your company blog needs to look clean and inviting, so that readers want to stick around and it's clear what you want them to do next (usually, subscribe).

What are your best tips for managing your business's blog? Let us know in the comments section.

This article originally posted on Entrepreneur.com

CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-UPDATE 2-Brazil's HRT jumps on oil outlook

Mon, May 14 15:37 PM EDT

* HRT to drill in Namibia by late 2012, early 2013

* Set to sell stakes in Namibia blocks this year

* HRT expects 28 bln barrels oil, gas in Namibia blocks

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 11 (Reuters) - Shares of HRT Participações em Petróleo SA rose more than 5 percent in São Paulo on Friday after company officials said the Brazilian oil company could have as much as 28 billion barrels of oil and gas in Namibia.

HRT's resources in Namibia, while not completely certified or audited, are undergoing an independent review by Dallas-based oil consultant DeGolyer and MacNaughton, said Wagner Peres, chief executive of HRT Americas, the HRT unit that controls the Namibia operations.

After the review, the Namibia estimate is likely "to be the same or larger" than HRT's "unrisked" projection of 28 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent in seven Namibian prospects, an HRT official said on the call. Resources in three of the prospects are already certified and four are in the process of certification.

At 12:40 p.m. (1540 GMT) HRT shares rose 4.5 percent to 476.04 reais ($240), their first gain in four days and their biggest gain in two weeks. Earlier they rose as much as 5.2 percent to 484 reais.

HRT plans to start drilling in Namibia in late 2012 or early 2013, the company said. It also expects to sell stakes in some of its Namibian blocks this year, and has spoken with 10 potential investors about its so-called farm-out plan, Peres said.

Efforts to develop HRT's Amazon oil and gas resources in Brazil were hampered in recent weeks by high water on a stretch of the Amazon River known as the Rio Solimões. This could potentially delay the company's drilling activities in the region.

HRT sold 45 percent of 21 Amazon oil blocks to Anglo-Russian TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil producer for $1 billion in October. TNK-BP is half-owned by BP Plc., the British oil group.

The high water underscores the difficulties of working in the remote Amazon region. While the company should be able to move oil relatively easily by tanker on the region's waterways, natural gas presents other problems.

To avoid having to build long, technically challenging and expensive pipelines to the Amazon's isolated cities, HRT is in talks with utilities and manufacturers t o sell them gas to produce electricity or make petrochemicals, it said.

This could make it easier for HRT to sell its resources that could otherwise be "trapped" in reservoirs far from market.

UPDATE 1-IBM not interested in deals over $1.5 bln-CFO

Tue, May 15 10:16 AM EDT

BOSTON, May 15 (Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp has no interest in pursuing large acquisitions, preferring to focus on targets worth $200 million to $1.5 billion, a top executive said on Tuesday.

"We are not looking at big acquisitions, nor do we want to communicate that we are looking at big acquisitions," Chief Financial Officer Loughridge said at a JPMorgan investment conference in Boston.

IBM has said it expects to spend about $20 billion on acquisitions between 2010 and 2015 as part of its strategy to reach at least $20 per share in adjusted earnings for 2015.

It has been targeting software companies that fit and augment businesses it already owns, with a particular focus on data analytics, security and e-commerce.

The company has repeatedly said it was not on the prowl for large buys, as it was in 2009, for example, when IBM found itself outbid by Oracle Corp over Sun Microsystems.

Oracle swooped in after talks between IBM and Sun Microsystems had stalled and outbid IBM by just 10 cents a share, paying a total of $5.6 billion in cash.

Shershah bridge collapse: Crushing disappointment as nine men acquitted

By Zeeshan Mujahid
Published: May 15, 2012

The bridge collapsed where it makes a 101-degree turn. Its initial design was made by ECIL but it was built by the National Logistics Cell. PHOTO: EXPRESS
Shehzad, Mosa , Ali Mohammad , Fayyaz The bridge collapsed where it makes a 101-degree turn. Its initial design was made by ECIL but it was built by the National Logistics Cell. PHOTO: EXPRESS
KARACHI:

A five-year long legal battle ended in disappointment for the families of the five men who were crushed when a portion of Shershah bridge collapsed in September 2007.

The additional district and sessions judge, West decided to acquit nine accused over a lack of evidence.

“Today the court has really done something remarkable,” said Kazim Raza, whose brother Rizwan Raza was one of the five victims. “Justice really is blind.”

The five men died and fourteen others were trapped when a portion of the bridge collapsed a month after Pervez Musharraf had inaugurated it. The collapse was attributed to a possible design fault after which a long legal battle ensued.

It was only after the Supreme Court ordered it that an FIR, No. 181/ 2010, was registered and investigations were carried out by the SITE police.

One of the victims, 60-year-old Moosa, was a resident of Saeedabad and the father of six children. He used to run a donkey cart. Fayyaz Ahmed Khan, 40, also had six children and lived at Lasbella Chowk. Rizwan Shah, 31, had two small children as did 51-year-old Ali Mohammad, who lived at Shershah. Sixteen-year-old Shahzad lived in Saddar,

“How was this decision made?” asked Abdul Haq, the brother of Fayyaz Ahmed Khan. “No one called us and took our statements. They were all in cahoots with each other, how can poor people fight when it’s like that?”

He said that he went to court for each hearing date but no one recorded his statement. “What am I going to tell his children? That I couldn’t get them justice?”

The acquitted men are Choudhry Altaf Ahmed, the chairman of the National Highway Authority (NHA) at the time, its former chairman Major Gen (Rtd) Farrukh Javaid, general manager Colonel (retired) Tehseenul Haq, general manager for construction Yousuf Barakzai, a member of NHA planning, Syed Najamul Hasan, and the owners of the contract construction firm ECIL, Athar Mirza, and his two sons Khalid Mirza and Naveed Mirza.

Yousuf Barakzai, the construction GM, represented by Shaukat Hayat advocate, was acquitted a week back, and today the remaining eight men were set free.

Their counsel submitted that no FIR was lodged by the heirs of any of the victims as they had been paid compensation after intervention by the apex court. A sum of Rs1.5 million each was paid to the heirs of six victims and Rs500,000 went to each of the 14 people who were injured.

The general manager for design at NHA, a key technical witness in the case, could not point a finger at any of the accused to hold them responsible for the charge of criminal negligence leading to the loss of lives.

The men were booked under sections 322, 421, 427, 337-F and 34 of the PPC.

The prime minister’s inspection committee declared that it found that the structural system and design was ill-conceived; there was criminal neglect on the part of M/s ECIL contractors; the land required for a good geometric design was never considered nor was the land negotiated for the prospective design ever acquired by NHA. “The neglect on the part of NHA is the root cause of collapse.”

It said the responsibility for the disaster at the organizational level “lies with M/s ECIL and NHA” and several officials by name were held responsible in both organizations.


In November 2010, the current chairman of the NHA was arrested from a courtroom but the former chairman, Farrukh Bashir, managed to escape from the scene. The police had been ordered to arrest them after their bail was rejected.

Investigation officer SP Iftikhar submitted the final charge sheet absolving the top NHA officials and consultant firm of any responsibility in the collapse. A day before that, the SP submitted in the charge sheet that project director Barakzai was appointed after the blueprints were approved and while the construction was under way.

The bridge is a curved box girder bridge and its outer track collapsed at the point where it makes a 101-degree angle. Its initial design was made by ECIL and it was built by the National Logistics Cell. But problems developed and the design was changed. ECIL asked Messer Hyperstatic of Cyprus to help.

The construction started in August 2003 but the problems surfaced in March 2006. The full bridge was completed in 2007 at a cost of Rs340 million. It was opened for traffic on May 10, 2007 and formally inaugurated by the president on August 6. It collapsed on September 1. The prime minister’s inspector team took five months to investigate.


Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2012.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fidessa

Fidessa
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fidessa Group plc Fidessa.svg
Type Public (LSE: FDSA)
Industry Software
Founded 1981
Headquarters London, UK
Key people John Hamer (Chairman of the board)
Chris Aspinwall (CEO)
Products Trading systems, market data
Revenue £278.3 million (2011)[1]
Operating income £42.1 million (2011)[1]
Net income £29.9 million (2011)[1]
Employees 1,500 (2009)
Website www.fidessa.com

Fidessa Group plc is a British-headquartered company which provides software and services such as trading systems to clients in the financial services sector. The firm also provides market data and related services to buy side and sell side financial services customers.

The company is headquartered in Woking with offices in London, New York, Boston, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Toronto, San Francisco, Belfast, Singapore, Bahrain, Sydney and Sao Paolo. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250 Index.
Contents

1 History
2 Operations
2.1 Market penetration
2.2 Products
2.3 Clients
3 References
4 External links

History

The Company was originally founded in 1981 as Intercom Data Systems (IDS): it was later renamed royalblue Group plc,[2] and consisted of two separate operating divisions, royalblue Financial and royalblue Technologies. royalblue Financial concentrated on the financial trading platform that has become Fidessa today, and royalblue Technologies centred around two separate products - rostrvm,[3] a call centre technology platform, and HelpDesk for Windows. It has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1997.[4] In 2001 the company divested itself of the Technologies division and focused entirely on the Financial business.

With the group's core trading platform, Fidessa, being better known in the market place, the Royalblue Group plc changed its name to Fidessa Group plc following shareholder approval at the AGM held in April 2007.[5] The change of name took effect on 1 May 2007.

In April 2007 the company also bought out the privately owned buy side trading provider LatentZero.[6] This was then rebranded as Fidessa LatentZero.[7]

In November 2008, Fidessa launched its Fidessa Fragmentation Index (FFI).[8] This helps to show how fragmented stocks are across exchanges following the MiFID European landscape. Since its inception it has highlighted as one of the most interesting technical developments in the financial sector in 2008 by Finextra.[9] The FFI project was extended in November 2009 with the launch of the award winning Fragulator.[10] In April 2011 Fidessa launched the Tradalyzer that provides detailed trading analysis.[11]
Operations
Market penetration

Around 70% of all securities transactions in London are handled by Fidessa systems.[12]
Products

Fidessa

A sell-side suite used by 85% of the tier one global equity brokers.[13] It provides trading, market data, order management and execution capabilities.

Fidessa LatentZero

A buy-side suite comprising three main products: Minerva, Sentinel, and Tesseract. Sentinel is used by 8 out of 10 of the largest global asset managers for pre-trade and post-trade compliance checks. It was named Buy-Side Product Of The Year in 2008 and 2009.[14] Minerva is an Order Management System (OMS), and provides trading, order management, portfolio modelling and execution capabilities. Tesseract is a portfolio management tool.

FIX Network

In addition to a trading platform, Fidessa host a broker neutral FIX-enabled execution network. This has a large number of brokers connected to it and is similar to other inhouse FIX networks, such as the LSE Hub, the SunGard Transaction Network (STN) and Thomson Reuters subsidiary TradeWeb's Autex Trade Route.

HFT Platform

Because of a radical overhaul to the matching engine at the Tokyo Stock Exchange.[15] A boom in High frequency trading in Asia has begun. Fidessa has developed an Ultra Low Latency Direct Market Access platform. (ULLDMA). Based upon the Asian focused JMIS Line handlers, Fidessa's HFT platform includes Pre-trade risk checks, integration with Algo engines and other rich functionality purposely designed to help Brokers and High Frequency traders. Even though the system includes rich functionality, performance through the Gateway, like all HFT systems, is measured at the Microsecond Level.[16]
Clients

Fidessa's clients tend to be mid to large size financial institutions.
References

^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2011" (PDF). Fidessa. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
^ Royalblue Group Forbes, 2000
^ Rostrvm Solutions: Website
^ Fidessa: Corporate
^ "Royalblue to change name, looking for acquisitions". Reuters. 12 February 2007.
^ Royalblue to acquire LatentZero press release, 17 April 2007
^ Bobsguide - Fidessa Latentzero Minerva Oems Provides Access To Fx Connect
^ Fidessa Fragmentation Index (FFI)
^ Fidessa fragmentation index recognised as major innovation
^ Fragulator
^ Fidessa unveils Tradalyzer in Canada Automated Trader, 17 August 2011
^ Sandle, Paul (16 February 2009). "Fidessa beats FY forecasts, sees 2009 growth". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
^ About Fidessa
^ Sentinel and EMS Workstation take top awards at Buy-Side Technology Awards
^ Trading in Tokyo Enters the Microsecond level
^ Trading systems deliver less than 1ms delay

===

Author Mandelsputin View Profile Add to favourites Ignore
Date posted today 14:13
Subject A question for pro traders
Votes for this Posting
Message
As a complete nincompoop as far as trading goes, I wonder whether any pro traders would like to comment on the following (a post picked up from a trading site by an old timer to the trading game).

----------------------------------------

"You might know all about the big institutions and their boy wonder currency trader, or the girl out of MIT that has a new algorithm for options...but what you may not know is that even THEY are being replaced.

The Market is all set up to discount any indicators designed to predict the market movement. The institutional traders and the Market Makers know when individual traders are waiting for predictive indicators to appear in order to enter or exit their trades.

And, to add insult to injury, not only do they know what you are waiting for, they will beat you to the trade every single time because in most cases you are trading against a computer, not a human being.

Moving averages, MACD, Stochastics, Gann Theory, Elliott Waves, Fib Numbers, etc. no longer work because HFT programs analyze the front-end order flow database not the back-end trades like indicators do. They do not need standard formulas.
"

-----------------------------------------------------

Just interested to learn....

...especially from the likes of STM...if you would be so kind.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Who owns New Emerging Independent Kurdistan

Author Arundallio
Date posted today 10:16
Subject Vote Up If You Should Be On This List
Votes for this Posting Voted UP 18 times.
Message
Just for an indication of the Voting Power on this BB


Now compare nlper's list from Wednesday, noting the changes.
Let it never be said that Institutions are nor buying and selling, just like PI's. Top 10!

Interesting to see TK at 166,667. Is he expecting the 'final price' to be a multiple of 3?

No of shares------Date Updated--------- Organisation
58,125,647 -- 01-Mar-12 -- TDW.......TD Direct Investing 59,727,737 (6.82%)
50,350,000 --29-Feb-12 -- M&G........M&G Investments 50,350,000 (5.75%)
47,253,895 -- 31-Mar-12 -- Capital.....Capital Research 40,871,564 (4.66%)
46,079,026 -- 01-Mar-12 ---Barclays.... Barclays 47,870,758 (5.46%)
43,186,538 -- 31-Mar-12 --Baillie Gifford......Baillie Gifford 53,301,446 (6.08%)
30,129,261 -- 01-Mar-12 --- Hargreaves....... Hargreaves 31,560,830 (3.60%)
27,581,051 -- 01-Mar-12 --- Selftrade..........Selftrade 27,677,852 (3.16%)
27,336,175 -- 01-Mar-12 --- Halifax ........... Halifax Share Dealing 27,663,042 (3.16%)
27,227,017 -- 01-Mar-12 --- Kuok Co...... Kuok Group Companies 27,227,017 (3.11%)
25,945,515 -- 01-Mar-12 -- Kozel Family (rem Gokana)Gokana Trust 29,695,515 (3.39%)
25,000,000 ---- 20-Sep-11 ---------- Small a/c on register
23,922,058 -- 01-Mar-12 ---- UBS Private Banking..... UBS Private Banking 24,555,044 (2.80%)
23,441,651 -- 01-Mar-12 ----Pershing......Pershing New Jersey 24,393,181 (2.78%)
22,614,498 ---- 01-Mar-12 ---------- Shareprice
18,744,995 ---- 29-Mar-12 ---------- Employee Benefit Trust
17,433,433 ---- 17-Jan-12 ---------- Ashley Kozel ?
17,000,000 ---- 01-Mar-12 ---------- Gibca ? MAX
15,600,000 ---- 01-May-11 ---------- Agile Energy ? Data old
14,232,880 ---- 31-Jan-12 ---------- HSBC
12,240,519 ---- 31-Mar-12 ---------- JPMorgan
12,005,230 ---- 31-Mar-12 ---------- RS
10,450,000 ---- 29-Mar-12 ---------- Ali Al-Qabandi
10,000,000 ---- 01-Mar-12 ---------- Exit Award Trust
7,554,998 ----- 29-Feb-12 ---------- M&G Mirror
5,356,606 ----- 31-Dec-11 ---------- Blakeney
4,000,000 ----- 14-Sep-11 ---------- Ibrahim Al-Khaldi.
3,935,754 ----- 31-Mar-12 ---------- Henderson
3,510,680 ----- 31-Mar-12 ---------- Legal and General
3,270,813 ----- 31-Mar-12 ---------- Vanguard
1,830,420 ----- 19-Apr-12 ---------- BlackRock
1,203,698 ----- 31-Jan-12 ---------- TIAA CREF
1,122,555 ----- 01-Mar-12 ---------- Lord Truscott
1,050,000-------- 31-Mar-12 ---------- Meeschaert
1,040,000-------- 31-Jan-12 ---------- HARGREAVE HALE
761,500 -------- 21-Sep-11 ---------- Renaissance
761,500 -------- 12-Jan-12 ---------- Mirabaud
720,000 -------- 31-Jan-12 ---------- Jupiter
670,000 -------- 31-Mar-11 ---------- Artemis
636,386 -------- 30-Jun-11 ---------- California State Teachers Retirement System
620,000 -------- 31-Dec-11 ---------- MERRILL LYNCH
597,187 -------- 01-Mar-12 ---------- Kristian (Ewen) Ainsworth
578,208 -------- 29-Mar-12 ---------- Mehdi Varzi
500,018 -------- 20-Sep-11 ---------- RBS NV
410,491 -------- 31-Jan-12 ---------- Standard Life
402,600 -------- 30-Mar-12 ---------- NATCAN INVESTMENT
366,259 -------- 29-Feb-12 ---------- Henderson Mirror
365,052 -------- 31-Dec-11 ---------- Deka
340,000 -------- 30-Sep-11 ---------- CQS Cayman Limited
262,623 -------- 31-Dec-11 ---------- MQ
255,000 -------- 31-Dec-11 ---------- Gabelli
250,000 -------- 30-Jun-11 ---------- UBS
240,000 -------- 14-Sep-11 ---------- Mohammed Messaoudi
232,025 -------- 29-Mar-12 ---------- Other BOD
225,866 -------- 31-Jan-12 ---------- BIM INTERMOBILIARE
191,300 -------- 31-Mar-12 ---------- Northern Star
166,667 -------- 01-Mar-12 ---------- Todd F Kozel
150,664 -------- 31-Dec-11 ---------- State Street
142,857 -------- 01-Mar-12 ---------- Tony Peart
140,000 -------- 30-Nov-11 ---------- Eden Financial
139,530 -------- 29-Feb-12 ---------- F&C
130,024 -------- 31-Mar-12 ---------- BNP Paribas
125,000 -------- 31-Dec-11 ---------- Eurizon Capital
125,000 -------- 31-Mar-12 ---------- TCW
120,114 -------- 31-Dec-12 ---------- Symphonia SGR S.p.A.
100,000 -------- 30-Nov-11 ---------- Advisory Invest GmbH
100,000 -------- 29-Feb-12 ---------- Anima Sgr
99,026

========

Author pathai View Profile Add to favourites Ignore
Date posted Thursday 14:54
Subject Gulf Keystone gags man behind online rumours
Votes for this Posting Voted UP 3 times.
Message
Only posting this because of the photo.

Goodnight all and GL for the rest of the day.


http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article1247552.ece

Bill Lehane , News Wires

17 May 2012 13:08 GMT
.

Man posted false rumours about share issue by explorer, causing stocks to plummet

UK-listed oil explorer Gulf Keystone Petroleum has said it has obtained legally-binding assurances that an individual who spread damaging rumours about the company online, which were later admitted to be fantasies, would cease to comment publicly on its activities.

According to court documents, 28-year-old Spencer Freeman posted numerous messages on Twitter and online bulletin boards about Gulf Keystone between June 2011 and May 2012, Dow Jones reported.

The messages culminated in a claim on 9 May that the company was preparing to raise cash by issuing shares at a price of £1.60, a 22% discount to its closing share price the previous day.

Shares in Gulf Keystone plunged by as much as 9% that day and remained down until the company refuted the claims in a regulatory filing 10 May.

Gulf Keystone said in the court documents it was seeking to prevent Freeman "posting untrue and damaging allegations" that prompted a collapse in its share price and took up substantial management time "dealing with disgruntled investors and press inquiries".

Freeman will voluntarily abide by Gulf Keystone's demands, in an agreement that will have the same legal force as a court injunction, said Justice David Bean, the presiding judge in the case.

Gulf Keystone will take no further proceedings against Freeman, but he could face contempt of court charges if he breaches his undertakings, the judge said.

Freeman and a spokeswoman for Gulf Keystone declined to comment on the hearing to the wire service.

Refuting the claims last week, Gulf Keystone said it could “confirm categorically that it has no current intention of undertaking an institutional fundraising”.

Chief executive Todd Kozel said the “unfounded speculation” was “damaging and misleading”, and was hampering the company’s efforts to add shareholder value through its exploration programme.

"We will not tolerate malicious attempts to damage the company's reputation and share price,” he said.

“We have instructed the company's lawyers to use all means necessary to protect our shareholders from this malicious and unfounded attack."

Gulf Keystone also said talks were ongoing with several interested bidders over the sale of its 20% stake in the Akri-Bijeel block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.




Re: Gulf Keystone gags man behind online...

Chicago Jack
20UP

Kind of ironic story here... A person places twitters comments about placings...GKP write a cheque for $12 million dollars of SHAREHOLDERS money to an unknown entity and there was a 9p placing that most financial observes found some what disgusting....Somethings just never had up

CJ
chris... I will respond to your comment... I posted on offers that were cleared at a high level to proceed to a table.. Now if you have a problem with that.. then fine.

I gave a detailed reason for the figures used by the Chinese.

I also said anyone talking down the assets was in my opinion wrong.

Toodle pip Chris...
NOS I did not mention 07 NOS...is there a reason you bring 07 up?

These things are not downers they are part of the corporate history and governance.. news int. not sure of the connection ..unless they had a cell phone link to GKP and thats coming up in some inquiry .
CJ
==


Rory McIIroy has just tweeted...

Richams1
12UP
"...If anyone is having a bad day, remember that today in 1976 Ronald Wayne sold his 10% stake in Apple for $800. Now it's worth $58,065,210,000"

Chin up all.

==
Author vimconfused View Profile Add to favourites Ignore
Date posted Friday 17:27
Subject Re: £40/share Chinese Bid View parent message
Votes for this Posting Voted UP 11 times.
Message
You only have to see a couple of responses since the "conditioning for low ball offers" comment to see that it's working! Sadly some people will only see multiples of current SP when considering an offer, not the fundamentals (which indicate the SP should be higher). In other words, perception of an offer when our SP was over £4 is very different than perception of the same offer from the current SP... but actually the (potential/ultimate) value of the company would be exactly the same.

As for whether the PI vote is irrelevant, it *may* be, but it shouldn't be underestimated. I make no comparisons but just stating a fact that when I held DGO the PI vote was extremely important in ensuring the remaining part of the company was not taken over by the majority shareholder (for all the good it did us).

===

Author tobytoby View Profile Add to favourites Ignore
Date posted Friday 18:35
Subject Re: £40/share Chinese Bid View parent message
Votes for this Posting Voted UP 10 times.
Message

golfguy31

Going by your assumptions.

2.8bbl reserves * $6 pboo / 876m shares * GBP0.60 = £11.51

Add AB/SA/BB/GAS / BACK COSTS/TANGIBLES thus far.........ho and a PREMIUM?

Basically mate you have no idea what you are talking about, Shaikan will prove to have at least 3 billion barrels of oil reserves to GKP @18bbls P50 (JG) 30/35% RF conservative (TK - TH).

What makes me laugh is all these clowns going on about accepting any offer so they can pay off a holiday to Blackpool with their diddly squat amount of shares.

Addax sold £32 per share for 536mmbls / 360m shares / producing 100k bopd - END.

...


''I'd anticipate an outright sale in the region of £11 to £13 per share.

based on a number of assumptions such as $6pb deal, official Kurd / Turkey oil payment mechanism announced, net booked reserves of 2.8bn barrels and a fracture report confirming min blended RF at 30%.....oh, and the ECB managing to kick the can down the road for at least another 3 months.

I would like to see an early mover in the £8 region (post fracture report) to force others to show their hand''.

==
Reuters

5:55 a.m. CDT, May 20, 2012

ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region said on Sunday it expects to start exporting its crude oil production along a new pipeline to the Turkish border by August 2013, defying Baghad in a long-running dispute over who should control the country's oil exports.

The Kurdistan region, which has its own government and armed forces, has already clashed with Iraq's central government and halted its oil exports in April after accusing Baghdad of not remitting payments due.
...KRG oil minister Hawrami, governors Karim of Kirkuk and Nujaifi of Ninewa. Many IOCs. Former USG officials. No one from Baghdad. Separate Kurdish pipelines to Turkey in 2013-14 will be tantamount to formal secession http://bit.ly/LqsrTf via @LubnaNaji
==

"In August 2013 we will be able to directly export crude from the Kurdish region's fields," Hawrami said at an oil conference in Kurdistan on Sunday. "We will be responsible for exporting oil. It will still be Iraqi oil."

Baghdad says only the central government's oil authorities have the right to control oil exports, and dismisses contracts signed with the Kurdistan Regional Government as illegal, while the KRG says it has the right to develop its own oil fields.

Hawrami said once direct exports begin Kurdistan would take the 17 percent of revenues the region is allowed from Iraq's national budget and pass the rest to the federal government.

The minister said the first stage of the pipeline would be completed by October this year to carry crude from the Taq Taq oilfield. The second phase would connect to the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline with a capacity of 1 million barrels per day by August next year.

He said Kurdistan was also developing plans to build a separate pipeline that could connect to a refinery in Turkey's Ceyhan port by 2014.


The oil dispute between Baghdad and Kurdish capital Arbil is part of a broader political crisis in Iraq, where a fragile government among Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs is struggling to overcome deep splits over power-sharing.

Last month Kurdistan halted crude exports because it said Baghdad was not fulfilling agreements to pay foreign oil companies working in the region, worsening the conflict between the ethnic Kurdish and mainly Iraqi Arab central government over regional autonomy, disputed territories and oil rights.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

===

11:34
Re: Why BB-1 is Unable to Flow

Gramacho
52UP
I have modified the previous plot to show the expected pressures at surface with a full column of oil with the same density as encountered in Sh-1. It explains why BB1 is unlikely to flow without a pump.

http://tinypic.com/r/313jaz8/6

GOR - Gas Oil Ratio

At Shaikan-1 the shut in surface pressure would be about 400psi indicating there is excess pressure and the well will flow without pumping, albeit at low rates as it turned out.

At BB-1 the surface shut in pressure will be 0psi. In fact if the oil is a little denser than at Shaikan the gradient will rotate slightly anti-clockwise and the fluid would not even reach the surface. In other words the well CANNOT flow without pumping no matter what the oil viscosity or how good the rock properties are.

This of course assumes the oil has a very low GOR like the Mus in Sh-1 so that the fluid gradient is not affected by break out of gas i.e. there is not a gas lift effect from the solution gas because the gas content is so low.

Genel should have known this risk at the outset. I don’t understand why an ESP / ESP - Electric Submersible Pump was not available for the initial test. Genel too used to nice low viscosity higher GOR crudes?

Once again if this is very viscous like Shaikan Cretaceous then the ESP will not enable the well to flow at commercial rates, steam injection will be needed, but if the viscosity is manageable and there are some fractures then the ESP will make the difference.

Regards,

Gramacho

09:17
Re: TH's Comments from RNS

Gramacho
110UP
Jurassic Matrix porosity is better than Shaikan and is highly encouraging.

There are two things working against flow:

1. The burial depth is similar to Shaikan Cretaceous which means that temperatures are low and viscosity could be high. If you recall JG said in an earlier conversation when I brought this up that he believed the absence of seeps across BB may indicate the light ends had not been lost and therefore the viscosity would still be OK.
The jury is still out on that one.

2. Pressures are much lower because it is much shallower relative to Shaikan, ref the attached plot. BB Top Jurassic is at roughly 60m ABOVE sea level whereas Shaikan is at about 550m BELOW sea level. Pressure at Top Jurassic should be around 1150 psi (yellow dot) versus 2000 psi at Shaikan.

http://tinypic.com/r/9b95hg/6

From the Genel RNS:
"Whilst the presence of a significant oil column is encouraging, further evaluation with the right flow test equipment is required before we can determine whether this discovery is commercially viable."

What Tony means is that his boys did not have an ESP ready to test the well with. TH to TK “Eh Todd can we borrow your pump please?” TK “I thought we told you that you would need one!”

Let’s hope we see a response to pumping similar to that enjoyed by Sh-1 Mus interval. From the GKP RNS of 11 Aug 2010:

Gulf Keystone announces the results of further testing of the Mus (1,627m to 1,667m) section of the Jurassic on its Shaikan-1 discovery well. Final, stable, production rates during this week's re-test, using a much improved test setup versus the original 2009 test, were measured at 1,250 bopd with an API gravity of 19.7 degrees and a gas oil ratio (GOR) of 10 standard cubic feet per barrel of oil at a flowing wellhead pressure of 50 psi. This natural flow rate represents a ten fold increase over the 128 bopd measured during the initial test in 2009.
Tests using a low capacity electric submersible pump (ESP), resulted in rates up to 2,250 bopd.

The workover rig will now begin operations to complete the Shaikan-1 well in the Sargelu (1,450m to 1,510m) section of the Jurassic, and the well will be configured for long term production testing.

John Gerstenlauer, Chief Operating Officer for Gulf Keystone said "This retest of the Mus formation demonstrates that even this very low GOR zone is capable of substantial natural flow production rates when properly configured. In addition, it gives us further encouragement for future development, having demonstrated significantly increased production values even with a low capacity ESP."

Such a response is not guaranteed however if the viscosity is simply too high or if the fracture intensity is too low. Over to you TH.

A comment on the Triassic would have been polite. Must we assume it was wet like Summail-1?

Regards,

Gramacho

-

Re: TH's Comments from RNS

Geodude
29UP
In my view this BB news is news that's been coming for a while now - it's been too long since the well reached TD and I've had a feeling that the result wasn't going to be great. Companies put out regular RNSs when there is good news and long periods with any RNSs indicates there's nothing great to shout about.
With the comment made yesterday to the presentation about the pressures in BB being much lower than at Shaikan, and now this announcement that the oil is very heavy makes it look like the structure at this well location on BB could be breached.
This is clearly not good news for those hoping that BB could be three times the size of Shaikan but c'est la vie ( French - c’est la vie: that’s life), this is the oil exploration business. My feelings over the last few months was that BB could only be good news for GKP in that a large discovery would be reflected in a large sp rise, but that a poor well result wouldn't necessarily be disastrous. If the sp manages to hold up reasonably well today, for me that's good news (in a fashion)
However, this has also been my one concern with holding so many GKP over the last few months so now that the news is out I just can't see any more potential banana skins ahead. Once the dust has settled, the only way is up.
But for those hoping for miracles and super acid treatment and so on, I think you need to curb your optimism a little and then you won't be disappointed further.
===

Author Barney71255 View Profile Add to favourites Ignore
Date posted today 10:42
Subject 4th Round- Arabian Oil & Gas
Votes for this Posting Voted UP 20 times.
Message

Another article on 4th Round

Note : Bids are expected to be 10 times higher than previous rounds - which doesn't sound that promising for the ICG TSC bid approach:

`In return, oil companies are likely to set their bids at around ten times the rates settled in previous bidding rounds, which saw Russia’s Lukoil take on West Qurna 2 for just $1.15 per barrel produced before tax.'





Iraq BR4 lookahead: an auction, and a gamble
by Patrick Osgood on May 29, 2012


Fourth bidding round, to take place tomorrow and Thursday, will see the oil ministry put up 12 oil and gas blocks for auction across Iraq.

After several delays, Iraq’s central government is just a week away from the first award of exploratory oil contracts in the country outside the Kurdish region since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

The fourth bidding round, to take place tomorrow and Thursday, will see the oil ministry put up 12 oil and gas blocks for auction across Iraq, several of which are in impoverished areas which still have poor security and remain blighted by mines and ordnance.

Baghdad is hoping that, once developed, the blocks will add 29 trillion cubic feet of gas and 10 billion barrels of oil to Iraq’s national reserves. However, in trying to strike a balance between political necessity and commercial reality, Baghdad has taken a gamble that oil companies will sign up to a form of contract several industry voices have said is unsuited to the work required.

The level of enthusiasm for the blocks on offer is uncertain. 47 companies have been pre-approved for the auction, though the relatively low cost of the process means this is not a reliable barometer of interest.

Statoil has already ruled itself out, and ExxonMobil was barred after signing for six exploration blocks in the Kurdish region of Iraq, some of which are in disputed territory. Total's CEO has grumbled about the terms on offer relative to the Kurdish region.

In addition to security issues, the final form of the exploration, development and production service contract (EDPSC) is far removed from what oil companies see as an acceptable model under which to invest in exploration, even after extensive negotiations and amendments to the contract since its initial publication.

Baghdad has retained its fee-per-barrel remuneration model, notwithstanding that speculative concessions more usually see the grant of production sharing contracts akin to those granted by the Kurdish regional government, which give oil firms an equitable stake in oil produced and the ability to book reserves.

The EDPSCs also include a cost control mechanism which nets exploration, production and other costs against production, in a bid to avoid overcharging and ‘gold-plating’.

In return, oil companies are likely to set their bids at around ten times the rates settled in previous bidding rounds, which saw Russia’s Lukoil take on West Qurna 2 for just $1.15 per barrel produced before tax.


Baghdad dropped a requirement that a state oil firm partner in the contracts, and will allow oil companies to use gas at site for free for local power generation and operations.

Iraqi oil analyst Ruba Husari also reports that the prices used in the calculation of revenue have been raised, with the latest EDPSC setting the price of dry gas price at 50% of the export oil price and the price of natural gas liquids as equal to the oil price, instead of 25% and 60% respectively in the previous draft.

An unacknowledged motivator for Baghdad’s willingness to concede on some elements of the EDPSC is the terms on offer in the Kurdish region, where attractive production sharing contracts have been used to attract over 45 independent oil companies, and more recently, supermajors. Counting against the Kurdish contracts are the high acquisition costs to acquire PSCs from incumbents and uncertainty over production revenue.

Gas development looks most promising, as companies will be able to export gas at prevailing rates under bilateral deals struck with the government. Six of the 12 blocks are slated to be primarily gas-rich.
According to Iraq Oil Report, the EDPSC also include a provision allowing Baghdad to cancel should a signatory sign a PSC deal with the Kurdish regional government. This provision was not included in previous contracts, putting Baghdad in a quandary as it looked to punish Exxon for signing deals with the KRG. Baghdad lacks a clear legal mandate to credibly threaten to cancel the supermajor’s contract at West Qurna 1, a measure Exxon could be willing to mire in international arbitration.

=====

Central control enshrined in 4th bid round contract
A representative of Kuwait Energy casts its winning bid for the Siba gas field as oil ministry leaders look on at the Oct. 20, 2010 licensing round. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)
A representative of Kuwait Energy casts its winning bid for the Siba gas field as oil ministry leaders look on at the Oct. 20, 2010 licensing round. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)
By Ben Lando of Iraq Oil Report
Published May 29, 2012

The contracts offered in this week's exploration block auction will bind companies to recognize Baghdad as Iraq's sole oil authority and prevent them from signing deals with Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Two new clauses, one each inserted into the two contractual documents in the fourth licensing round, to be held May 30-31 at the Oil Ministry in Baghdad, give the ministry legal weight to cancel deals if the signatory then signs an oil deal with either the KRG or another local g...

===

Six blocks offered, one awarded
PetroVietnam Vice President Nguyen Tien Long submits a bid for Iraq's Block 12 in the May 30, 2012, bidding round. PetroVietnam and partners Premier and Bashneft bid higher than what the ministry was willing to pay, and declined to lower its offer. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)
PetroVietnam Vice President Nguyen Tien Long submits a bid for Iraq's Block 12 in the May 30, 2012, bidding round. PetroVietnam and partners Premier and Bashneft bid higher than what the ministry was willing to pay, and declined to lower its offer. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)
By Ben Lando of Iraq Oil Report
Published May 30, 2012

A consortium led by Kuwait Energy won the rights to prospect in what is expected to be an oil-rich patch of Basra province along the Iranian border – the only block awarded Wednesday by the Oil Ministry on the first day of a two-day contract licensing round.

Another exploration block, spanning Najaf and Muthana provinces, northwest of Basra, was bid for by UK's Premier Oil, along with PetroVietnam and Russia's Bashneft, but the ministry insisted on tougher terms than the consortium was will...

==

Lukoil, Pakistan winners in underwhelming fourth bid round
Iraq Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi opens the bid from Lukoil for Block 10 on the second day of Iraq's fourth bidding round. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)
Iraq Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi opens the bid from Lukoil for Block 10 on the second day of Iraq's fourth bidding round. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)
By Ben Lando and Staff of Iraq Oil Report
Published June 1, 2012

Russian giant Lukoil and Iraq newcomer Pakistan Petroleum (PPC) won operator rights to explore two blocks expected to contain oil on the second and final day of Iraq's fourth contract licensing round.

Thursday saw increased competition for the blocks offered – only one block was awarded Wednesday – but Lukoil was the biggest of major international oil companies to place a bid.

The relatively low 25 percent award rate is being attributed to service contracts terms that are atypical, esp...
==

$39B in oil revenue through May, though exports drop
Iraqi and foreign-contracted workers drilling a well at the Rumaila oil field. It's on track to become the second largest producing field in the world. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)
Iraqi and foreign-contracted workers drilling a well at the Rumaila oil field. It's on track to become the second largest producing field in the world. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)
By Ben Lando and Staff of Iraq Oil Report
Published June 4, 2012

Oil exports decreased an average 56,000 barrels per day (bpd) over April, but oil prices at $105 per barrel meant Iraq still earned $8 billion last month, a massive consolation for the output dip.

Oil Ministry figures released over the weekend said Iraq exported an average 2.452 million bpd in May, with Iraqi crude fetching well above the $85 per barrel estimated in this year's budget.

"For the first five months of 2012, Iraq achieved about $39 billion in oil revenues," said Oil Ministry s...

=== === Skip to Navigation .(GKP) Gulf Keystone Petroleum 187.12 -1.50 (-0.80%) Add to portfolioSet AlertLevel 2Buy/Sell SummaryNewsChartJavaChartDiscussion 352Technical InsightUsers' HoldingsTradesUsers' ConsensusProfit PointFundamentalsDiscussion Post message List Previous Next View thread Respond Vote up Email to a friend Neighbourhood Watch Author scaramouche View Profile Add to favourites Ignore Date posted Tuesday 18:58 Subject The current meaning of AIM... Votes for this Posting Voted 114 times. Message A cursory review of some of the key discussion points in the last week has, for me, given a new meaning to the term AIM, namely... Aqra-1, Incentives and Maliki! And, in their own way, I guess these key discussions are precisely what makes GKP the archetypal AIM stock.... rather than one which can lay serious claim to being part of the FTSE. These are my current thoughts on each of the above items: • AQRA-1 There seems to be some debate as to whether a big discovery at Aqra could somehow trigger the BoD Exit awards. To me this kind of discussion is however pure pie in the sky. GKP has a 51% Net WI in Shaikan (excluding the further 3.4% due from Texas Keystone’s share in the licence). This compares to a Net WI of 12.8% in Akri-Bijeel. Put another way, that amounts to our interest in Shaikan being FOUR TIMES our interest in AB. That is precisely the reason that this smaller asset was put up for sale IMHO. And we already know that Shaikan has 10.5 billion OIP on a P50 basis, so our share of the OIP there is currently around 5.4 BILLION barrels.... with that figure set to rise significantly when the results from SH-5 and SH-6 have been properly assessed. Conversely, even if we include Bekhme’s 3.9 billion OIP (which MOL maintain is unlikely to be commercial) and ADD it to Akri-Bijeel’s 2.4 billion (P50), GKP’s share of that license could only currently amount to about 800 million barrels OIP.... one seventh of the Shaikan figure. So, to enable the AB share to somehow exceed that of Shaikan we would need Aqra-1 to come in with, wait for it.... a further 36 BILLION barrels of OIP now! Combine this thought with the fact that Aqra-1 would, based on drill progress to date, currently be at around 3800m (with a TD of 4700m) and that MOL are notorious for taking ages to release test results, and it is clear that the scenario whereby a discovery announcement of the required magnitude could be due is simply not feasible. There could certainly have been a ‘discovery’ there, but even that is nothing more than a rumour at this stage so not worth thinking about in the absence of an RNS, IMHO. Ultimately, of course, AB could prove bigger than Shaikan, but it is very obvious to me that the Exit awards are about EITHER the sale of Shaikan (perhaps combined with AB), or the sale of the Company itself, but let us not get too far ahead of ourselves. Shaikan is nearly fully appraised – AB has a VERY long way to go! And yes, I’m sure we can all envisage doomsday scenarios where the SP drops to sub-£1 and AB is sold for the equivalent of 50p per share thereby theoretically triggering the Exit Awards. But let us keep it real – the NEDs and Scheme Trustee would be hanged, drawn and quartered if they were even to entertain the idea of using such an unwelcome scenario to manipulate payment of such extravagant awards. All of which moves me on neatly to the question of remuneration packages and in particular that of TK, which has been such a key debating point of late.... • "INCENTIVES" From the latest annual report, it can be seen that TK’s remuneration package for 2011 totalled $22,230,811. This figure has been picked up and repeated endlessly on this board but IMHO it is very important to understand how it is derived before attempting to pass comment. As far as I can see , it consists of; 1. A basic salary of $675,000 (same as in 2010). 2. A cash bonus of $2,751,568 (about double what TK received in 2010). 3.Bonus shares valued at $18,804,243 on the vesting date of 21 MARCH 2012 when the SP stood at 251.75p (about one-third higher than they are today). Note too that these bonus shares come from the 2009 share bonus scheme (1,666,666); the 2010 share bonus scheme (1,488,333) and I believe the first third of the 2011 bonus scheme (1,459,333), a grand total of about 4.6 million shares across that period. In simple terms, this means that 84.5% of TK’s remuneration for 2011 actually consisted of bonus shares awarded under 3 separate annual schemes. So, while I fully agree that the bonus shares figures are somewhat extravagant, I also think it very important to understand just how much of that excess has indeed been driven by the rise in the SP over the extended period. Rather ironically, if the SP had stayed at the much HIGHER levels we saw earlier this year (and shareholders been far happier), TK’s declared remuneration would also have been considerably higher which, judging by many of the comments on this board, would have presumably led to a lynching! In essence, it is very obvious to me that TK is completely INCENTIVISED for the SP to be as high as possible when GKP or Shaikan is sold, which aligns his objectives very closely with those of all shareholders! I find that reassuring. But yes, I do still find the remuneration levels EXCESSIVE, and one key point which seems to have been missed is that, every time the bonus shares have been awarded, TK has received 5 times the number awarded to both JG and EA. I am unclear how the remuneration committee has been able to sanction this if they are truly independent, and I would perhaps have expected a figure closer to double what JG and EA received. That aspect could certainly be queried for the future , but I cannot see how awards made in 2009, 2010 and 2011 can be effectively challenged retrospectively. Furthermore, from the advent of the Exit Awards RNS, I rather doubt that GKP will last another 12 months for the issue to raise its ugly head again! • Finally, MALIKI! Hmmmm... the whole story of the last few weeks seems to be of political parties completely disillusioned with Maliki’s behaviour throughout his tenure seeking to oust him. Given his history, is it therefore any wonder that he seems now to be reacting rather like a caged lion that has been aroused and sees just a few chinks of light between the bars that surround him? We have seen Maliki trying to get his key political opponents arrested, seeking to take control of all the key security forces and powerful controlling positions, allowing endless lies to circulate about Exxon’s entry to Kurdistan from his side-kick Shahristani, and then the total travesty that the 4th Bid round for exploration licences turned out to be. Yet now, presumably quite satisified with his overall performance, he is apparently challenging the legitimacy of the signatures of a vast army of MPs who are petitioning for his removal. These are clearly the actions of a would-be dictator who is never going to concede power gracefully and give in to a democratic political process.... so I sincerely hope that the Iraqi and Kurdish people do not allow themselves to fall even further under his evidentially increasing tyrannical control. *** Wake up, Mr Maliki, your actions are now doing untold damage to Iraq and your fellow countrymen... so, the time to Resign is now! *** Indeed, it needs only to be remembered that Maliki assumed power in December 2010 because he signed up to the 19 –point Erbil agreement, and that the ONLY reason that so many MP’s now seek to depose him is that he has reneged on every aspect of that Agreement and is still in power 18 months later. He has NO excuses. Meanwhile, I have no doubt that the KRG is far from whiter than white. But it was the KRG’s Massoud Barzani who was instrumental in putting an end to a record 9 month political impasse since the March 2010 elections, and allowing a government to be formed. So, it IS Maliki who is primarily responsible for igniting the political powder keg once again. As a GKP shareholder I remain optimistic if slightly uncomfortable about the eventual political result,and the advantages that should bring to us as shareholders, but in the short-term it is certainly very messy indeed! So, in a nutshell, I think that the last few weeks has shown the huge potential that remains for GKP when all the OIP at Shaikan is announced and the company or its key Assets are sold; but the lack of really effective Corporate governance which has allowed the BoD to profit excessively from what has undoubtedly been remarkable progress. And in particular we have certainly seen the full extent of the Geopolitical risk component which causes many a potential investor some degree of concern! This really is the ultimate AIM share! GKP is a stock with a truly incredible upside when it reaches its final destination, but don’t for one moment imagine that you won’t be encountering some turbulent waters along the way. Those that remain onboard throughout the long voyage really do deserve to reap their full rewards IMHO...and I certainly intend to be one of them! AIMHO and please DYOR. GLA, scaramouche == Fri 19:28 Re: MP: Many signatories withdraw their ... orang minyak 25 View Author's profileAdd to favouritesIgnoreAuthor's posts "If the Kurds declare an independent state, would that mean they get to keep all the oil revenue?...If so, then surely there would be a lot more room to amend the PSC's in terms of greater reward to the contractors? " Anybody who thinks that the Kurds declaring an independent state is a good way out of this for gkp holders shows a distinct lack of knowledge on how the region operates and the fall-out that would occur from such an action. Also, why would they want to introduce more favourable terms when they hold all the cards? ----- Dotty, I can't let that pass. My opinion is that if the Kurds were to declare independence, together with (or after or before) announcing high investments and entry of the world's biggest oil companies into the region', the markets would look at it very very kindly. Put it this way, we are stuck with rotten, stagnant Iraqi politics now and we ain't going anywhere fast. The markets know this, the traders know this, and that's why we are superglued at the 180 to 200 p level. Take away Iraqi politics, and we have a stable peaceful region, where Government works, the Government and the people welcome foreign investment. Sprinkle the pipelines through Turkey and safe, stable export routes to World markets, backed by NATO. Lastly add in major investments by Exxon, Total, Chevron?, Sinopec, with the implicit backing of their respective national governments (remember President Barzani saying, one Exxon is worth 9 military divisions in Kurdistan - well how much is Exxon plus Total plus Sinopec plus Statoil etc worth?). Who was the biggest opposition to Kurdipy independence in the past ( apart from Iraq of course)? Turkey. well guess what, Turkey's just agreed to those Kurdy pipelines carrying oodles of gas and oil into its energy hungry economy. And Turkey sent 100 odd companies into Kurdy looking for lucrative deals. If earlier posts are to be believed, a company whose CEO is the son in law of the Turkish PM will build the major pipeline into Turkey. Does that look like the actions of a country that will stand in the way of Kurdish prosperity? I leave it for all you grizzled veterans and hopefull newbies to judge. At the risk of repeating myself, Maliki can go or Maliki can stay. Either way, I am convinced it will be full speed ahead for Kurdistan, backed by Turkey and the supermajors. The only question is timing. I don't believe KRG will wait until after the US elections to announce, but I dont know if they are waiting for some other event other than the move to unseat Maliki to come to an end one way or another. But the region will prosper, and along with it, GKP and us hard core GKP believers. As for changing the PSCs to be more generous to the supermajors entering Kurdistan, well, that would be the clincher for any of those companies hesitating wouldn't it? Also it would create a bigger pie, so that a generous share can be doled out to all the interested parties (Sinopec and Exxon, to name a couple). But even without the changes, those PSCs leave a lot for the next man, even if he had to shell out £10 a share to buy Shaikan, or the equivalent for all the other blocks and BIRs. I leave it to the experts on this BB to work out the exact numbers, but I think even if oil were to fall to $80 a barrel over the short term, there is still a big fat profit margin (deducting the minimal lifting costs for onshore operations) for all those supermajors entering the region. OM ==== Author nest of rampers View Profile Add to favourites Ignore Date posted Monday 22:30 Subject Re: Mark Leftly... View parent message Votes for this Posting Voted UP 9 times. Message Here it is again , GKP did not need to respond to this . It is all explained here. ---------------------------------------------- US oil supermajor Exxon Mobil is understood to have sounded out London-listed Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) over a possible deal that could value the Kurdistan-focused group at around £7bn. GKP has a market capitalisation of around £1.5bn and is listed on the junior Aim market, but its chief executive, Todd Kozel, believes the group could eventually go for double-figure billions. GKP is sitting on what is considered to be one of the world's great recent oil finds – Shaikan, about 50 miles north-west of Kurdistan's capital, Erbil – but the regional government is known to want a supermajor on board to properly fund and develop the field. It is thought that the board would not accept the estimated £8-a-share that Exxon is considering and that a number of other companies, perhaps including China's Sinopec and Californian giant Chevron, are monitoring the situation. There is even some speculation that an informal four-way auction for GKP might be under way, while it is also believed that the company has spoken to at least two smaller businesses about potentially developing its assets in a joint venture. Last month, it emerged that Exxon was the first of the oil industry's giants to enter Kurdistan, taking six licences. However, this has angered the government in Baghdad because there are old territorial disputes between Iraq and Kurdistan. Baghdad had threatened to terminate Exxon's existing deal in southern Iraq and it had been reported that the US giant might reconsider its licences in Kurdistan. However, the lucrative potential of the Kurdistan fields means that analysts expect Exxon will pursue opportunities in the semi-autonomous region and may already have taken additional positions to those licences previously revealed. There are suggestions that Exxon's interest in GKP was discussed at a board meeting 10 days ago and that initial soundings may have been taken at least six weeks ago. Last month, much of the oil world descended on Erbil for a conference that highlighted the extraordinary oil opportunities in Kurdistan, with Mr Kozel one of the key speakers. It is believed that Mr Kozel would be happy to sell up soon and has even started mulling over his next venture. The American businessman is one of the most colourful figures in the City and has a base of devoted retail investors who are waiting for a takeover of GKP to make them rich. GKP declined to comment. Exxon did not return calls. - Mon 21:48 Re: Mark Leftly... jilted If Mark Leftly had proof of a T/O then he should've made that proof public or not said anything at all. Partly as a result of his article many people bought in and as a result drove the SP up to £4+. When no proof from him was forthcoming and no clarification or denial of the offer came from the company, the arss fell out of the share price and no doubt many investors were left high and dry. Journos of broad sheet newspapers have a responsibility when it comes to printing potentially price sensitive articles in the same way CEOs of listed companies have a responsibility to their shareholders to divulge such information. If the journos cannot or will not substantiate their claims or companies do not categorically refute such claims then it is only natural that people may become suspicious and possibly suspect some wrong doing. The fact remains, Leftly should have backed up his claims or kept schtum. Todd has also diclosed information regarding the OWC to analysts but not to his shareholders via RNS. It would appear that that not everyone is privy to the same information. == Mon 20:56 Re: CJ's utterances... Chicago Jack * Author's posts Broadford B.. Hope your well.. apologies for my grammar.. must be annoying to most. Cryptic . Like a crossword but with out clues listed across and down so the brain as to work and do research.. I responded to a poster earlier and was suprised by the answers, but they may said sense and resonated with what I know. Thats where this started and thats where it ends. I have no need to even read the board, but when i do , I get a sense of wanting to respond.. First You only need 1 share to have a vote at an AGM or an interest. My shoulder are broad enough and skin thick enough to stand the insults that fly about.. I posted the offer 19 billion in good faith when I had no need to. iii REMOVED IT, not me. all readers of the board have to remember I said offer been approved to go forward to a table. I said another was being formulated. I wont ever disclose confidences so anyone wanting to go there, then I suggest you get a plane ticket and start in the US looking. People say proof and links.. show me how many links the eyeless wonders on this board produced to Eatmic.. I will say this again and again if required. I got slaughtered for saying Etamic was Beirut . I took it on the chin because I knew where my research and with help of people in the US took me. Etamic True fact. I said the date it was going and the reason.. I was again slaughtered . True Fact May 15 th 2010 i posted about May18th It happened true fact again. I posted on DNO-RAK at the same time- true fact again. Now I said clear as I could people I knew in the US would pay upto $6.30 . Now when offers go through boards of those making them, some need clearance and I know two that did and another one that did not need clearance . I don't have to justify my posts to anyone.. and when people say they are invested..start proving it .. for all anyone knows any poster may hold nothing at all . I am shocked at the lack of research people do and especially on the regions of the world and political situations and each countrys tax regime on resources. This applys to all countrys where resources are explored for. CJ ========= Mon 20:31 CJ's utterances... broadford bay this user is in your favourites list I don't know CJ - I've never met him, never exchanged emails (or tweets) with him, never spoken to him; but I'll let him defend himself against some of the more outrageous attacks. For all that, and although I too sometimes do find his grammar challenging and his references somewhat puzzling, I have no reason to doubt what he has posted re. "offers on table" etc. I know from my own experience, also from having lived and worked in Libya in a senior position, that such scenarios are always fluid especially in the ME/NA and especially in O&G exploration. The involvement of the KRG, the necessary & continuous updating of data caused by adjacent discoveries, the revisiting of assumptions and evaluations then made essential as such data throws your original assumptions out the window, the ebbing and flowing of sentiment in Baghdad, the infighting within the KRG itself, the sudden and unexpected appearance of new "interested" parties - whose questions and detailed requests for information are all different, all of these combine to make a straightforward takeover offer impossible. IMO, each and every tentative TO-approach is virtually guaranteed to "reset the clock to zero". That's my very personal take on why CJ's predictions (as some have interpreted them) have not, as yet, borne fruit. == Tue 22:43 Trolls mrniceguy1066 Internet trolls face tough new rules Reuters/London Website operators may soon be forced under planned new laws to reveal the identity of those who post defamatory comments on their forums, a move that aims to protect victims by speeding up what is often a lengthy and expensive legal process. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said the proposed approach would give greater protection to operators who complied with the procedure. “As the law stands, individuals can be the subject of scurrilous rumour and allegation on the web with little meaningful remedy against the person responsible,” said Clarke in a statement. “The government wants a libel regime for the Internet that makes it possible for people to protect their reputations effectively but also ensures that information online can’t be easily censored by casual threats of litigation against website operators.” Both members of the public and companies have made angry threats to take legal action against Internet ‘trolls’, who circulate false rumours about them online. Last month, London-listed oil explorer Gulf Keystone became the latest in a string of firms to say it would not tolerate what it said were attempts to damage its reputation and share price. However, litigation is currently difficult and expensive in Britain, in part because victims often need to achieve a court order to force the website owner to hand over subscriber contact details. Known as a ‘Norwich Pharmacal order’, named for a 1973 judgment which found that the Norwich Pharmacal Company was entitled to be told the identity of those whose illegal activity was hurting its business, the move has been used in Britain against Facebook and Wikipedia in recent years http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=511860&version=1&templ === Tue 19:58 Re: Long 179.5 Reasons and Analysis doctorh STM Superb analysis, exactly what this board is intended to be used for, and of use to investors and traders alike. Many thanks indeed for sharing your thoughts. Can I also just say, full credit to you for the way you dealt with the BH episode. He is a heavyweight poster by any standards, and this afternoon's exchange was clearly an attempt by him to discredit your excellent call and turn it to his advantage - for BH to create the illusion that you have secretly spoken to him off the record, and to suggest that you actually have a position which is the polar opposite to that which you have stated, is completely beyond contempt in my view. It demonstrates the appalling lengths to which parasites such as BH will go to in their attempts to deceive for their own financial gain at the expense of others. I am sure the vast majority of posters here would applaud you if you decided to report this episode to iii neighbourhood watch. Certain individuals have previously been banned from posting, and if the blatant lies and attempts at subterfuge shown by BH this afternoon don't deserve a ban, I'm really not sure what does. ==== Author scaramouche View Profile Add to favourites Ignore Date posted Thursday 20:28 Subject Dreams.... Votes for this Posting Voted UP 105 times. Message Good evening everyone, I have been trying to step back from the iii discussion forum lately, while the perhaps inevitable mood of negativity and cries of disappointment are so frequently exuded on here. My reasoning is that I have long believed that ‘Mr Market’ is always on the look-out for signs of shareholder capitulation and will take full advantage of it when it is there, so it is perhaps best not always to give vent to any personal feelings which the vultures might swiftly feast upon. But that is just my personal view! Anyway, one particular post this afternoon made such heart-rending reading that I felt it might be a good time to comment. Dream Builder, my thoughts go out to you in your extremely courageous and personal battle, while you wait patiently for GKP to deliver what has been expected of them for what must now seem almost like a life-time. Your post has helped me to put all that has happened lately into perspective – I thank you very much for that! Four months ago (on my birthday in fact!), in a post I entitled ‘The Fulfilment of dreams’, I set out my own vision of how I believed that GKP might go about trying to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of ALL of its shareholders. http://www.iii.co.uk/investment/detail?code=cotn%3AGKP.L&display=discussion&threshold=0&action=detail&id=9260593 At the time the SP was about 320p! Looking back, I can see that my post was therefore written in a mood of optimism, based on an expectation that Shaikan would be fully drilled and appraised by the end of July 2012, with reserves fully booked and a Field development Plan clearly defined. I envisaged then that it might be possible to conclude a sale of 50% of GKP’s share of Shaikan (perhaps to Exxon) , and that this could act as a spring-board to massively increasing the SP, then some further M&A activity which might see it merging with, say, Genel and joining the FTSE. It was quite deliberately a thought-provoking post, and I still believe that many of the messages in there are as true today as they were then, were it not for the dramatic decline in the SP since that time. Think about it. Shaikan might indeed still be fully appraised by the end of July as predicted and a wide range of options might remain available to the BoD. But much has happened in the intervening period, and it is becoming increasingly clear that many people on here are suffering what looks rather like a feeling of shattered dreams. it is very hard to reverse that feeling. Indeed, it is quite extraordinary how great euphoria can have become replaced by utter despondency in such a short period of time... and how the concerns over the global economy, Iraqi politics and the disappearance of the 'imminent takeover' rumour can have brought about SUCH a radical change in people’s perception of GKP as an Investment. I am not exempt from having many of the same feelings myself! So, I very much hope that our own Mr Dream Maker, Todd Kozel, ably supported by Perella Weinberg & co., are almost ready to reveal what could possibly have influenced the announcement of those undoubtedly rather generous Exit Awards outlined in the RNS of 22 March 2012... an announcement which surely contributed to so many of us believing that our dreams were indeed about to become a reality. I have also thought long and hard about the comments on here about TK’s personal pay package, and, although missed by some, my previous post on this did highlight how certain excesses really did need to be addressed and explained by the remuneration committee. In short, I believe that TK only can only justify anything like the kind of numbers that have been quoted IF HE DELIVERS what shareholders have been widely led to believe is just around the corner. And that means... the huge increase in OIP figures forecast by TK and JG in conferences earlier in the year; clear and unambiguous information in all operational updates that addresses all reasonable questions from our techie experts, the urgent delivery of the latest DGA report and actual booking of reserves; and most of all an unequivocal statement as to what GKP’s long-term strategy really is.... accompanied by proper explanations when promises such as the move to the FTSE, the sale of Akri-Bijeel, or the appointment of the 3rd NED fail to materialise. I truly believe that the failure of the BoD to deliver on any of these items has led to an atmosphere of distrust, while shareholders might otherwise be celebrating the huge achievements of GKP in 2011 and 2012 and feeling encouraged at least that the Directors' objectives in terms of a much higher SP were clearly aligned to those of us as shareholders. I personally believe that only the provision of timely, comprehensive and unambiguous communications from the Board of Directors, which demonstrates a genuine desire to lift the share price to where it belongs, can ever help to allay many of the doubts that have been so vocally expressed on here. And that communication also includes letting ALL shareholders know if there have been any ‘approaches’ (either casual or more direct) regarding the possible sale of Shaikan or the whole Company.... on which most of our dreams are surely founded. IMO, we really don’t want any more rumours, we just need a little more clarity! Saying that, it is not easy to tell to what extent TK’s hands might be tied by the political tensions in the region. But, to me, there is little doubt that the lack of concrete information, and diminished confidence in GKP’s ability to monetise some of its assets, has created an additional layer of uncertainty and an atmosphere where rumours are allowed to flourish unabated. With the constant political upheaval and doubts about the future of Maliki and Shahristani, this is one risk that GKP can surely do without. In a Risk Off investment world GKP has, righlty or wrongly, become seen as more risky. And all the while that this goes on, there are people like Dream Builder whose dreams are fading fast, and who surely deserve much fairer treatment, and others who have shared the same dreams... but are now perhaps wondering when the nightmare will end! So here is my suggestion, Todd. You were justifiably over the moon when you announced to the world that Shaikan was “an Oilman’s dream” and told us how important it was then to manage shareholder expectations. My suspicions are that, a few months ago, the ‘story’ did in fact get rather ahead of itself and that it is therefore now very important we are brought bang up to date with what is really happening behind closed doors and how close we are toward the fulfilment of OUR own personal dreams... not just yours! I have to admit that, when I first ‘discovered’ GKP as an investment with massive unfulfilled potential, I thought that I was dreaming. Now, when I look at the SP, I often have to pinch myself, as it seems so unreal! I want to stop having to dream about all the news that might appear via RNS in the morning, and to KNOW instead that anything that is important to my family and myself regarding this investment will definitely be announced promptly and no sooner than that information is known. Only then can I feel sure that my Golden Tickets really are.... the stuff that Dreams are made of! GLA, scaramouche ==== Author Barney71255 View Profile Add to favourites Ignore Date posted Tuesday 23:26 Subject Kurdish Oil Summary Votes for this Posting Voted UP 14 times. Message This article out today indicates deals already in place with Statoil and Total. It also indicates ICG are powerless to stop progress which is reflected in Maliki's letter to Obama trying to stop Exxon How Oil May End a Conflict (for Once) By Michael Moran | Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at 12:02 PM ET http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_reckoning/2012/06/19/how_oil_may_end_a_conflict_for_once_.html As Syria has monopolized world attention in recent months, the relatively important changes underway across the border in Iraq have received less attention than they warrant. While post-occupation Iraq is no one’s idea of a democratic model – and certainly not the inspiration for the Arab Spring, as some gung ho neo-cons now claim – the dysfunction in Baghdad and continuing violence have created common interests between Iraqi Kurds and their longtime ethnic foes to the north, Turkey. The Turks and the Kurds, now spread between areas of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and Turkey itself, have vied for control of this mountainous region for centuries. The conflict got militarized in the early 1970s, when years of oppression by Turkey of the Kurdish language and culture sparked a Marxist guerrilla war waged with terrorist tactics by a group called the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). The conflict, which has been raged with ferocity by both sides ever since, in recent years sparked Turkish incursions over the Iraq border, where PKK formations shelter in the high mountains that line the frontier. (This is another thing that gets too little coverage; the International Crisis Group estimates that up to 1338 people died in this fighting between 2008 and 2010, including 136 civilians). This is an unpromising canvas on which to draw up closer ties. And yet, that’s precisely what is happening, thanks to a thirst for oil in fast growing Turkey, and a quest to bypass Baghdad’s snake pit politics on the part of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which governs Iraq’s northern provinces with a degree of autonomy. Ever since last week, news has broken almost daily of deals struck by the KRG with foreign oil companies, including Exxon-Mobil, Norway’s Statoil, France’s Total and others. These developments have the potential to provide self-sufficiency over time from the government in Baghdad. At the moment, Kurdish oil gets processed and burned within Iraq, as the only route to future markets (outside smugglers in tanker trucks) would be through pipelines controlled by the central government. With the current Shiite Iraqi government beholden to Iran and gridlocked by opposition from the parliament’s Kurdish and Sunni blocs, a long awaited oil law that would define the terms under which regions like Kurdistan would benefit from oil extracted locally is going nowhere. So the Kurds have taken matters into their own hands. Who can blame them? With an unfriendly Iran on one side, the chaos of Syria on another and limited influence to get Baghdad to move, the KRG decided to deepen ties with the ancient enemy, Turkey. In the last month, plans to build two new pipelines to carry the KRG’s oil north have been agreed, joining a third that carries natural gas. All would be financed through Turkey and supply the Turkish market. Why, you might ask, would Baghdad allow the Kurds to go forward with such projects? For one thing, Baghdad may not want anyone to know how relatively powerless they are to stop them. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is increasingly reliant on Iran to stay in power. Last week, even the pro-Tehran Shia hothead Moqtada al-Sadr abandoned Maliki, demanding he submit to a vote of no confidence. But Tehran apparently believes Maliki remains useful, and has reined in al-Sadr. So he stays for now. So Baghdad has other problems. And besides, the Iraqi central government may also feel the threat of Kurdish separatism has receded for the moment. While the KRG is eager to export its oil, it has no desire to lose the large revenue sharing benefits it currently enjoys from Baghdad – at least not until its northern fields have found lucrative foreign markets. Under provisional Iraqi regulations now in place, Kurdistan’s regional government currently gets a 17 percent share of Iraq’s national oil revenues, and that covers about 95 percent of the regional government’s budget. Even with pipelines to Turkey and giants like Exxon and Total pumping with all their might – all of which are years away - it is still questionable whether KRG export earnings could equal or exceed that 17 percent share of federal Iraqi revenue. This explains the careful steps the KRG is taking not to provoke the center, including a pledge to only keep 17 percent of the export proceeds, distributing the rest to its Iraqi cousins. So what’s in it for Turkey, and why after decades would the Turks suddenly find common ground with the KRG? Certainly inside Turkey, the war against the PKK continues – 2) died in clashes just today. But Turkey is feeling isolated. With Iraq developing into a de facto Iranian satellite and Turkey’s ties with the Assad regime in tatters, Ankara has found itself increasingly isolated and without friends in Iraq now that the US is gone. The Kurdish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that even as clashes between Kurds and Turkish security forces continue inside Turkey, the government in Ankara has adopted a more pragmatic view of Kurdish nationalism outside its own borders. A little Kurdistan on the border beats a big one constantly threatening to erupt inside. But the prospect of a reliable source of oil on its border also has thrown new light on the value of good relations with the Iraqi Kurds. After years of denying that there was any such thing as a Kurd – (they were legally categorized as “mountain Turks” into the 1980s by Ankara’s military rulers) – Turkey apparently has come to terms with the idea of a homeland for Kurds, as long as it’s not on Turkish territory, and as long as the energy it produces fuels Turkey’s booming economy. == Iraq Taps Its Oil Riches, But Risks Deter Big Investment * Print * Email Iraq Taps Its Oil Riches, But Risks Deter Big Investment x Download Iraq Taps Its Oil Riches, But Risks Deter Big Investment * * * TEXT SIZE - + Henry Ridgwell June 19, 2012 LONDON - Nine years after the U.S.-led invasion, the Iraqi government says the country is emerging as a global energy giant. A conference in London has brought together leading figures from the government and the oil industry to try to boost investment in Iraq. But, several risks remain - not least the growing instability in some of Iraq's neighbors. Iraq's government says recent explorations show the country could be sitting on the world's largest oil reserves at up to 350 billion barrels. The figure is unproven, but many agree that Iraq has huge untapped potential. The Iraq Petroleum 2012 Conference in London (June 18-20) brought together Iraqi government and industry figures. Among them was Bayazeed Hassan Abdullah, an Iraqi lawmaker and member of the parliamentary Oil Committee. "By the end of 2017, Iraq can produce 12 million barrels a day," he said. "And also it has a huge gas (potential) in Iraq because each barrel, when extracted, it is accompanied with 600 cubic feet of gas." Among the speakers at the London conference was Tony Hayward, the former chief executive of BP, who left the company following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He now runs Genel Energy, the largest oil producer in northern Iraq. "Across Iraq today, there's a desperate need for significant new infrastructure to allow the country to truly emerge on the world stage as a major supplier of oil and gas to the world," he said. "Perhaps more importantly, to provide a growing quality of life for the citizens of Iraq." After decades of war and sanctions, Iraq's oil and gas infrastructure lags behind other leading exporters. Exxon and other foreign oil giants have signed deals to develop wells and pipelines, but experts say Iraqi politics is holding back overseas investment. Paul Stevens is with the independent policy institute Chatham House. "They're going to have to get a petroleum law passed to allow the international oil companies to come in on a risk-taking basis rather than as service companies," he said. Analysts highlight other risks, notably ongoing sectarian violence. The northern semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan stopped oil exports to Baghdad earlier this year in protest over non-payment. Iraq lies at the heart of a region undergoing huge political upheaval - and shares borders with Syria and Iran. Iraq's former National Security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, spoke at the London conference. "Now all politics are regional and maybe even global," he said. "Anything happening in Syria, Egypt, Yemen, and the list goes on and on, it will affect Iraq." Despite the risks, Iraq exported more than 2.5 million barrels a day in April, more than at any time since the 1980s. == Kidnapped oil workers released for $500,000 ransom After negotiations between the Iraqi government and kidnappers – held at a luxury hotel in Basra – four oil workers were freed from more than a month of captivity. Basra International Hotel A view of the grounds of the Basra International Hotel, where Iraqi government officials and kidnappers met to negotiate the $500,000 ransom that led to the release of four oil workers, who had been held hostage since May 13, 2012. (BEN VAN HEUVELEN/Iraq Oil Report) By Ali Abu Iraq and Staff of Iraq Oil Report Published June 21, 2012 Four kidnapped oil workers were released Monday, ending more than a month in captivity, after their captors were paid a $500,000 ransom. The victims – two Iraqis, one Palestinian, and one Lebanese – are employees of the Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) who had been working near the Rumaila oil field, at the company's pipeline fabrication plant. Driving together on May 13, near the village of Um Uneji, they were stopped at a fake checkpoint and abducted. Prime Ministe... === Iraq’s Fourth Bid Round: Assessment Of The Outcome Posted on 19 June 2012. Tags: 4th round oil licences, Ahmed Mousa Jiyad Iraq’s Fourth Bid Round: Assessment Of The Outcome By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. After many postponements, Iraq’s fourth bid round took place on 30-31 May 2012. Twelve exploration blocks were offered, but only three were awarded. With two-thirds of the offered blocks receiving no bid, this must be a disappointing result for the Ministry of Oil. Many commentators would see this as obvious failure, and the ‘blame game’ has begun. But as always, there are different ways to look at the event and interpret its outcomes, from different perspectives, as this brief paper, initially published by MEES, attempts to do. Please click here to read Ahmed Mousa Jiyad’s full report. Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant and scholar. He is the founder of Iraq/Development Consultancy and Research (Norway) and Associate with the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London, with 40 years of international experience in Iraq, US, UK, Norway and with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway, and can be reached at: mou-jiya@online.no). == Author scaramouche View Profile Add to favourites Ignore Date posted 2012-06-20 18:13 Subject Re: French companies View parent message Votes for this Posting Voted UP 65 times. Message Interesting... So, perhaps it is worth seeing just how damaging this could really be for TOTAL..... • Halfaya = 4.1 billion barrels of reserves. Awarded to CNPC (37.5%), TOTAL (18.75%), PETRONAS (18.75%) and Iraqi state-owned oil company (25%) - based on $1.40 per barrel and eventual 535,000 bpd production. ***So, Total actually stands to lose the equivalent of about 100,000 bpd in a few years' time at a measly $1.40 profit per barrel.*** AND in the recent 4th bidding round for exploration contracts for which only 3 out of 12 licences were awarded.... Total did not even bid. Excuse-moi, Mr Shahristani - but I think that is therefore a Total-ly empty threat! And Total haven't yet even announced officially that they have signed any contracts in Kurdistan, have they? No doubt, we will soon learn of a series of letters to/from the Iraqi Oil Ministry in which Total has agreed to 'freeze' their contracts in Kurdistan, and Total silence on the matter! GLA, scaramouche == Iraq awards 4th exploration deal to Bashneft Iraq has awarded one more exploration deal, to Russia's Bashneft, after a month of negotiations following the Oil Ministry's fourth licensing round. Bashneft will take a 100 percent stake in Block 12, an 8,000-square-kilometer area spanning Najaf and Muthanna provinces that is expected to hold crude oil. The Russian company had been a minority partner [...] Abdul Mahdi al-Ameedi, director general of the Iraqi Oil Ministry's Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate, puts into the bidding box the government's sealed maximum offer for Block 9 at the Fourth Licensing Round on May 30, 2012. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report) By Ben Van Heuvelen and Staff of Iraq Oil Report Published June 29, 2012 Iraq has awarded one more exploration deal, to Russia's Bashneft, after a month of negotiations following the Oil Ministry's fourth licensing round. Bashneft will take a 100 percent stake in Block 12, an 8,000-square-kilometer area spanning Najaf and Muthanna provinces that is expected to hold crude oil. The Russian company had been a minority partner in a bidding consortium led by the U.K.'s Premier, along with PetroVietnam. At the ministry's fourth contract licensing round, which bega... == State smarts Petronas may outsmart market on $4.7 bln gas deal 28 June 2012 | By Christopher Swann Malaysian state energy group Petronas looks to be confirming clichés about dumb government money with its $4.7 billion deal to take control of Canadian gas firm Progress Energy Resources. After all, it’s paying a hefty 77 percent premium for the Calgary-based explorer. But the world’s third largest liquefied gas exporter is taking a longer view. With export links, gas-hungry Asia is willing to pay top dollar for Canada’s energy. Over the long haul, the deal may pan out. Petronas certainly has deep pockets. The company pumps about 2 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, slightly more than ConocoPhillips. So it’s easy to see how fat-wallet syndrome could overtake financial sanity. The deal gives Progress Energy an enterprise value of $5.4 billion, or about 30 times this year’s expected EBITDA, Thomson Reuters data shows. Even racy exploration firms seldom sell for much above 10 times, according to Sterne Agee. Still, the Malaysian giant is no parvenu when it comes to international dealmaking. It has interests in more than 30 countries. Petronas has also been a joint venture partner with Progress Energy since last year, so it knows the company, its people and its assets. There are good reasons why the Malaysian firm can extract far more value from Progress than private investors were willing to ascribe. Progress Energy’s sprawling holdings in British Columbia’s Montney shale, a relatively new field, are likely to take several years to ramp up. A far-sighted state investor like Petronas needn’t be deterred by the long time horizon. The princely price also reflects expectations that much of this gas will never be sold in the depressed North American market, where prices languish at decade lows. Petronas and Progress are planning to build a liquefied natural gas terminal for exports to Asia - where gas trades at about seven-fold the Canadian price. If U.S. government estimates are right, Asian demand for gas will climb by roughly 50 percent over the coming eight years. Canada has been kept waiting by the United States for more than four years to approve a pipeline to carry more of its hydrocarbons south of the border. Governments to the east, it seems, are far more eager to get their hands on Canada’s energy resources. And that’s where they will go. ========= Q&A: Shell Iraq’s Hans Nijkamp The head of Shell's projects in Iraq discusses the buildup of Majnoon, the reduction of flaring in Basra, and payments for West Qurna 1. Hans Nijkamp, second from left, on a panel at the CWC Iraq Petroleum conference in London June 18, 2012. (Source: CWC) Hans Nijkamp, second from left, on a panel at the CWC Iraq Petroleum conference in London June 18, 2012. (Source: CWC) By Ben Lando of Iraq Oil Report Published June 29, 2012 LONDON - Royal Dutch Shell is leading or involved in three of Iraq's biggest projects -- the development of the super-giant Majnoon and West Qurna 1 oil fields, and the capture of natural gas throughout Basra. The 12 billion barrel Majnoon oil field is scheduled to reach 1.8 million bpd in six years, but is facing two potential challenges. First, infrastructure bottlenecks still threaten to limit production; second, the ministry is considering an adjustment to the field's output targets. At West Q... == Author miny View Profile Add to favourites Ignore Date posted today 07:54 Subject The KRG will decide who operates Shaikan Votes for this Posting Voted 10 times. Message I very strongly believe that the KRG will decide who will be the operator on Shaikan. I am also convinced that the operator will not be Chinese. Exxon, SHell or Chevron will become the new operator of Shaikan. There are solid reasons as to why that must be the case and I also believe Todd has been told this by the KRG. GKP itself have never been considered as a realistic alternative ! Shaikan will turn out to be a confirmed "Elephant" with such huge resources of such importance to the Kurdistan region that no risks will be taken as to who operates Shaikan. The cost of allowing any eperator who happens to pay GKP the highest price for Shaikan to operate and ulimately decide its fate could cost the KRG much more than the actual price paid to GKP for its entire interest in Shaikan. Exxon by its experiance, its resources and its powerful connections to the White House has all the vital requirements that is necessary to operate Shaikan. The technological skills of Exxon are more likely to ensure that the recovery factors could be higher and the integrity of the Shaikan field is preserved for the life of this field, which is likely to be at least this next 50yrs. A 10% increase in its recovery could mean an extra $200bn of revenue at oil prices aroud $100 per barrel. Does annyone seriously believe that the KRG will not insist that Shaikan is too important to risk anything other than on of the most technically advanced leaders in the oil industry to run Shaikan !!! That reason alone limits the choice of operator. Add in the issue of security and you are left with possibly just three companies that tick the boxes. Exxon, Shevron and Shell with BP an outside chance.. That is why it will be crucial for any of those companies to first meet with the KRG to ensure they can negotiate a deal with them FIRST before moving on to GKP to derermine a price. This is why Todd will be ensuring that a shared ownership of GKP will be our best chance of achieving a good price and ensuring that partner is Chinese will ensure that thes best price achievable under those circumstances will be secured. Watching the sp fluctuate from one week to the next and seeing the moods of people on this bb change depending on their position on GKP has not been a pleasant experience. The intersts of the KRG will in itself ensure that Shaikan will not be sold off on the cheap, not what the prevailing sp is on any particular week. All too often the politics gets sorted behind closed doors and the nod to move is given to the potential candidates and secret negotians then begin. Such negotians for SHaikan could not begin until certain events or hurdles have been overcome and sorted. The appraisal of Shaikan to a stage that is pretty near to estimating what Shaikan holds is essential. Clearing the political hurdle of an oil and gas law and therefore security of its contract and ensuring that the security of Kurdistan are all requirements needed before Shaikan could have been sold. PIs should never take their eye off the ball and be swayed by others, some of whom are articulate enough to attempt to get you to sell your shares when GKP approaches an all time high and also to offload when it has been battered bbecause its now heading even lower. Some people will encourage you to sell to buy back in cheaper and if you are skilled and perhaps lucky you might make some money. But in this last week some popular posters sold out only to see a 50% rise take place before theit own eyes. At some point in time a 50% rise will be nothing compared to the final countdown. Be in absolute no doubt whatsoever that there are no shortage of buyers for Shaikan, just a shortage of suitable buyers and the price paid for SHaikan will certainly not be in the silly £5 to £6.00 prices some have talked about all because the city decided that was all that GKP was wortg. The KRG in discussion with GKP will decide the minimum price paid to own the Shaikan licence and BIR not the City !!!! All IMHO. Miny. Sorry if typos but on the phone posting. ============== -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gulf Keystone warns Internet gossips to back off Thu, May 10 08:38 AM EDT By Rosalba O'Brien LONDON (Reuters) - London-listed oil and gas explorer Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd (GKP.L) is considering legal action to protect the company from rumors on the Internet, the latest resources firm to fire a warning shot at online gossips. The Kurdistan-focused driller, a favorite of retail investors, on Thursday denied rumors on bulletin boards and social media sites that it was planning to raise money. The rebuttal was a factor behind a 14 percent jump in the company's share price, which has been volatile in recent months. "We will not tolerate malicious attempts to damage the company's reputation and share price. We have instructed the company's lawyers to use all means necessary to protect our shareholders from this malicious and unfounded attack," Chief Executive Todd Kozel said in a statement. Small-cap oil explorers Nighthawk Energy (NGTE.L), Nostra Terra (NTOG.L) and others also threatened legal action after finding themselves the target of abusive comments on bulletin boards in 2010. However, successful litigation is hard to achieve. Companies may need a court order to force message board owners to reveal writers' identities, and some people use multiple aliases, making identifying them difficult and expensive. Regulators say internet-based market manipulation is difficult to prosecute, as making a direct link between share price moves and online chatter is hard. "Today's announcement has been a long time coming as the share price has been negatively impacted by bulletin board speculation several times already this year," said analysts at Seymour Pierce. Gulf Keystone has been one of the most popular topics on the message boards of British retail investor websites such as Interactive Investor and ADVFN, and is often the subject of feverish speculation about its drilling in Iraq's Kurdistan region and possible takeover bids. Its volatile and heavy share trade has seen the stock rise from 134 pence in October, to hit 440 pence in February, before dropping back to close on Wednesday at 188 pence. A Gulf Keystone spokesman said the speculation that had prompted its rebuttal appeared to relate to one individual and a specific incident, rather than general discussions about the company. He declined to name the websites where the comments were made. Gulf Keystone, which holds production-sharing contracts for four exploration blocks in Kurdistan, also said on Thursday that it continued to talk to several interested bidders for the sale of its 20 percent stake in the Akri-Bijeel block. Seymour Pierce said it valued the asset at around $200 million, but that this could rise given appetite for investing in the region, and that such a level of cash injection would negate the need for an equity fundraising in the short term. (Additional reporting by Karen Rebelo in Bangalore; Editing by Erica Billingham)