North Rumaila Pipeline Launch Commemorative Medal
On 17 July 1968, as a result of another coup, the Arab Socialist Renaissance Party - Ba'ath came to power in Iraq. General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr became president and head of the Revolutionary Command Council, and 29-year-old Saddam Hussein became his deputy. The new leadership announced plans to nationalize the Iraq Petroleum Company group, which was controlled by foreign oil giants and operated under long-term concession.
Iraq turned to the Soviet Union for help. On 4 July 1969, a Soviet-Iraqi agreement was signed in Moscow, which provided for a significant amount of work. The USSR promised to assist in the development of the first national oil field at the North Rumaila field - one of the largest in the south of Iraq.
The first national oil field was being constructed on a turn-key basis. Soviet specialists designed and equipped surface facilities, prepared a geological plan of field development, supplied all necessary equipment, drilled wells, constructed an oil pipeline to Fao port on the right bank of Shatt al-Arab River, which is formed by the confluence of Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
The facility was opened on 7 April 1972. Soviet Prime Minister A.N. Kosygin, Minister of Oil Industry V.D. Shashin and Chairman of the State Committee on Foreign Economic Relations S.I. Skachkov, who arrived in Baghdad on April 6, were invited to the commissioning ceremony. Saddam Hussein met the Soviet delegation.
In honor of the launch of the pipeline a commemorative medal was issued.
The front side of the medal lists the names of major oil fields in Iraq at the time: Jamjamal, Sheikh-Raji, Rumaila, Ratawi, Nahr-Omr, Burzugan, Jambar, Kayyara, Abu-Garab, Luheis, Naftkhana, Khalfaya.
The reverse depicts the national coat of arms of Iraq and mentions the law No. 80 of this country on subsoil use, adopted in 1970. Below are two significant dates: July 14 (on this day in 1958 the monarchy was overthrown in Iraq) and July 17 (the day the Arab Socialist Resurgence Party came to power in 1968). Next is the inscription: "A commemorative medal from President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr to workers who made a great contribution to the development of the national oil industry, on the occasion of the launch of the North Rumaila field on 7 April 1972".
The medal was awarded to members of the Soviet and Iraqi delegations participating in the celebrations, engineers, builders and oil workers. There were probably two classes of the medal. Medal with a gold insert in the center for members of delegations and a medal with a silver insert in the center for builders and engineers.
Below are the names of some of the Soviet citizens who were awarded the medal.
Ilya Khrisanfovich Abrikosov
In 1965-1975, Abrikosov worked as deputy head of the Main Geological Directorate of the USSR Ministry of Oil Industry, coordinating exploration work in the USSR and a number of developing countries.
Ivan Porfirevich Moskalkov
In 1971, Moskalkov headed the complex of works related to the design of the North Rumaila-Port Fao oil pipeline in the Iraqi Republic.
Alexey Sergeevich Barsukov
Barsukov worked as the chief Soviet specialist in Iraq at the North Rumaila oil fields.
Anatoly Fedorovich Ozerenko
In 1968 Ozerenko became the chief engineer of VPO Zarubezhneft. Under his leadership, a large amount of work was carried out in the development of the large North Rumaila oil field in Iraq.
Pyotr Tikhonovich Eremenko
From August 1970 to November 1972, Yeremenko worked as Head of Contract No. 709 and Deputy General Director for construction of the Rumaila-Port Fao oil pipeline. Yeremenko signed the award documents for the medal.
Pyotr Anisimovich Petrov
Petrov worked as an excavator operator at the construction of the Rumeila-Port Fao oil pipeline. From the award document: "To Comrade Petrov Pyotr Anisimovich, the driver of excavator in Iraq "North Rumaila - Port of Fao" pipeline (contract 709 Technoexport) who was awarded with commemorative medal, established by the government of the Iraqi Republic in honor of putting into operation "North Rumaila - Port of Fao" pipeline."
Bezuglov Alexey Yefimovich
Bezuglov worked as an excavator operator at the construction of the Rumeila-Port Fao oil pipeline. From the award document: "To Comrade Bezuglov Alexey Yefimovich, the driver of excavator in Iraq "North Rumaila - Port of Fao" pipeline (contract 709 Technoexport) who was awarded with commemorative medal, established by the government of the Iraqi Republic in honor of putting into operation "North Rumaila - Port of Fao" pipeline."
My acknowledgement to Owain Raw-Rees for help