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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Itera Joins Power JV


MADRID, Spain — Spain’s Union Fenosa said Friday it had signed a deal with gas-trading company Itera allowing them to jointly bid on electricity privatizations in Eastern Europe.

Union Fenosa, Spain’s third-largest power utility, said the deal was part of its strategy for international expansion and that it would also study linkups on electricity generation projects and natural gas ventures.

The statement did not specify which East European privatizations interested the companies, but said it would investigate joint electricity generation stations in Moldova and neighboring countries.

Among the possible joint gas projects, Union Fenosa and Itera would complete feasibility studies of three liquefaction plants, the statement said.

The firms were also studying the direct sale of Itera gas to Spain, the statement said.

Tatneft Eyes Iraq


The nation’s No. 5 oil firm, Tatneft, said Friday it was about to start drilling for oil in Iraq after winning United Nations approval for the plan in December of last year.

However, UN diplomats denied Friday that the UN sanctions committee on Iraq had approved Tatneft’s plan.

"There’s no way we’re going to allow that. It would be a major breach of sanctions," said one diplomat.

"The United States and Britain have major problems with this. I don’t think that they will approve it," said a Western diplomat. "They may allow some equipment to come in, but I don’t think they’ll allow them to perform services."

Tatneft’s statement said the company will be the operator of the yearlong project to drill 45 wells for Iraq’s state-owned North Oil Co., and work will begin only when the UN’s Security Council opens a letter of credit with BNP Paribas, Tatneft said in a statement.

The plan is based on a contract between North Oil Co., which handles all production and exports in northern Iraq, and Russia’s Zarubezhneft that was signed around 18 months ago, Tatneft said.

Baghdad Warns LUKoil

The Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq has warned LUKoil that it risks losing contracts to develop huge oil reserves by failing to implement them.

Deputy Oil Minister Faiz Shaheen said the Russian firm, which is partly state-owned, had signed contracts to exploit the giant West Qurna deposit and other fields in southern Iraq in 1997.

"There are binding oil-field development contracts between Iraq and companies from Russia and China and others. Any contract that is violated by non-implementation on the ground will no longer be valid," Shaheen said.

Russia and China have pushed for an easing of the UN trade sanctions maintained on Iraq since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, but they respect the embargo. UN resolutions say it can be lifted only when Iraq proves to the world body that it has eliminated its weapons of mass destruction.

Suit Over Forex License


Dissatisfied with restrictions on trading in hard currency, the Moscow Stock Exchange is taking the Anti-Monopoly Ministry to court after the ministry ignored a letter sent by the exchange in connection with a violation of anti-monopoly legislation by the Central Bank.

For 2 1/2 years the bank has refused to issue the MSE with a hard currency license.

The suit, tentatively set for Thursday, states that the Central Bank violated anti-monopoly legislation by giving the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange the exclusive right to conduct trading in hard currency that exporters are obliged to sell.