Iraq state oil company to drill 40 wells in Majnoon field

Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). (File/AFP)
Updated 31 January 2019
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Iraq state oil company to drill 40 wells in Majnoon field

  • The deal will help boost output from the Majnoon oilfield to 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021
  • Iraq is pumping below its maximum capacity of nearly 5 million bpd in line with an agreement among OPEC

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s Basra Oil Co. has agreed a deal with state-run Iraq Drilling Co. to drill 40 new oil wells in the giant southern Majnoon field, the Oil Ministry said on Thursday.
The deal will help boost output from the Majnoon oilfield to 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021, the ministry said in a statement.
Majnoon is now producing around 240,000 bpd, according to oilfield officials.
The new wells are in addition to the 40 that Iraq and US company Schlumberger Ltd. agreed on Dec. 19 to drill in Majnoon.
Royal Dutch Shell exited Majnoon last year, handing operations to state-run Basra Oil.
Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is pumping below its maximum capacity of nearly 5 million bpd in line with an agreement among OPEC and other exporters to curtail global supply.


Singapore luxury apartment sales surge to 11-year high

Updated 15 min 54 sec ago

Singapore luxury apartment sales surge to 11-year high

  • Sales of such apartments also exceeded the numbers racked up for each full year from 2011 to 2018, the consultants’ analysis of transaction data shows

SINGAPORE: Sales of Singapore apartments worth at least S$10 million ($7.3 million) have hit an 11-year high, fueled by increased demand from Chinese millionaires seeking safe-haven assets, say property consultants OrangeTee & Tie.

Investors have long viewed Singapore as an island of stability that attracts the super-rich from its less developed Southeast Asian neighbors, as well as multimillionaires from mainland China.

In the first eight months of 2019, 68 condominium units in the wealthy Asian city-state were sold for S$10 million and more, the highest tally since the corresponding period of 2008.

Sales of such apartments also exceeded the numbers racked up for each full year from 2011 to 2018, the consultants’ analysis of transaction data shows.

Some buyers may have sought an alternative to rival financial hub Hong Kong, hit by protests, while others may have shifted funds from China after its yuan currency was devalued in a trade war with the US, an OrangeTee expert said.

“This may explain why we have observed more foreign buyers, especially mainland Chinese, coming into Singapore lately,” said Christine Sun, its head of research and consultancy.

Mainland Chinese are the biggest group of foreign buyers of Singapore luxury homes.

In Singapore’s prime districts, Chinese citizens bought 76 apartments worth more than S$5 million from January to August, versus 75 purchases by Singaporeans, data until Sept. 19 show.

Expensive apartments in premium neighborhoods are mainly bought by foreigners, because at such high prices Singaporeans have the option to buy landed property, such as bungalows and mansions.

Singapore does not allow foreigners to buy landed homes, except for those on the resort island of Sentosa.

“We do see that even though the stamp duties have increased .... we are still seeing people putting big money on these apartments, predominantly it is more for stability than anything else,” said Boon Hoe Leong, chief operating officer of high-end realtor List Sotheby’s International Realty.

He was referring to measures Singapore adopted last year to cool its real estate market, such as hiking additional stamp duties for foreign buyers to 20 percent from 15 percent.

“They are parking their money here — they know that the Sing dollar won’t depreciate overnight,” he added.