Iraq seeks clarification from Rosneft about energy deal with Kurdistan region

Rosneft has agreed to take control of Iraqi Kurdistan’s main oil pipeline, boosting its investment in the autonomous region to $3.5 billion. (Reuters)
Updated 21 October 2017
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Iraq seeks clarification from Rosneft about energy deal with Kurdistan region

BAGHDAD: Iraqi oil minister Jabar Al-Luaibi said he had sought clarifications from Russia’s biggest oil company Rosneft about contracts it signed with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
Rosneft “assured that the contracts are preliminary and not ready for implementation,” the minister told reporters in Baghdad, giving no further details.
Rosneft agreed on Thursday to take control of Iraqi Kurdistan’s main oil pipeline, boosting its investment in the autonomous region to $3.5 billion.
The Iraqi government has warned companies against signing deals with the Kurdistan region and Baghdad’s forces this week wrested control of the oil-rich Kirkuk from Kurdish forces.
Rosneft agreed on Thursday to take control of Iraqi Kurdistan’s main oil pipeline, boosting its investment in the autonomous region to $3.5 billion.
Rosneft will be investing in expanding the pipeline hoping to boost its capacity by a third to 950,000 barrels per day. That is the equivalent of about 1 percent of global supply.
The pipeline usually carries 600,000 bpd but volumes dropped to just over 200,000 bpd this week after Iraqi forces took over the region of Kirkuk. The pipeline carries crude from Kirkuk and other fields in northern Iraqi to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.


Australian telecom giant Telstra to cut 8,000 jobs

Updated 20 June 2018
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Australian telecom giant Telstra to cut 8,000 jobs

SYDNEY: Australia’s dominant telecommunications company Telstra Wednesday announced plans to axe 8,000 jobs — a quarter of its workforce — as part of a drastic new strategy to cope with an increasingly competitive industry.
The decision by the company, one of Australia’s largest employers, is part of a shake-up targeting an extra Aus$1 billion ($750 million) in cost-cutting by 2022, on top of Aus$1.5 billion previously announced.
To create a leaner operation, it will also split its mobile and infrastructure divisions into separate businesses.
“We are creating a new Telstra that is able to continue to lead the market,” said chief executive Andrew Penn.
“In the future our workforce will be a smaller, knowledge-based one with a structure and way of working that is agile enough to deal with rapid change.
“This means that some roles will no longer be required, some will change and there will also be new ones created.”
The cuts come less than a month after Telstra said its 2017/18 earnings will likely be at the bottom of its guidance range of Aus$10.1 billion to Aus$10.6 billion, blaming increasing competition in mobile and fixed broadband.
The warning sent its shares tumbling to a more-than six-year low of Aus$2.71.
Telstra employs 32,000 people across 20 countries, according to its most recent annual report. Of the jobs to go, one in four will be executive and middle management roles.
Penn said the company had to take action to stay on top in a highly competitive market.
“The rate and pace of change in our industry is increasingly driven by technological innovation and competition,” he said.
“In this environment traditional companies that do not respond are most at risk.
“We have worked hard preparing Telstra for this market dynamic while ensuring we did not act precipitously. However, we are now at a tipping point where we must act more boldly if we are to continue to be the nation’s leading telecommunications company.”

Telstra has a range of businesses including fixed broadband, mobile, data and IP, network application and services, digital media and international.
Part of its new strategy will see it create a wholly-owned standalone infrastructure business unit from July 1.
Called Telstra InfraCo, it will comprise the telecom’s fixed-network infrastructure including data centers, non-mobiles related domestic fiber, international subsea cables, exchanges, poles, ducts and pipes.
Its services will be sold to Telstra, wholesale customers and Australia’s National Broadband Network, controlling assets with a book value of about Aus$11 billion.
“As technology innovation is increasingly relying on connectivity, the role of telecommunications infrastructure is becoming more important,” said Penn.
“There is virtually no technological innovation happening today that does not rely on a high-quality, reliable, safe and secure telecommunications network.
“In this world our infrastructure assets are becoming more valuable. By creating a new infrastructure-focused business unit we will better optimize and manage these assets.”
Telstra also intends to “monetise assets of up to Aus$2 billion over the next two years to strengthen the balance sheet,” and has set aside Aus$600 million in restructuring costs.