• 14 hours Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 15 hours Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 16 hours China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 16 hours UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 17 hours Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 18 hours VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 19 hours Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 20 hours Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 21 hours OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 2 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 2 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 2 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 2 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 2 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 2 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 4 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 5 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 5 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 5 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 5 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 5 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 5 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 6 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 6 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 6 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 6 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 6 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 6 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 6 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 6 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 6 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 7 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 7 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 7 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
  • 7 days Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms
  • 7 days Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise
  • 7 days South Sudan Tightens Oil Industry Security
  • 7 days Over 1 Million Bpd Remain Offline In Gulf Of Mexico
  • 8 days Turkmenistan To Spend $93-Billion On Oil And Gas Sector
  • 8 days Indian Hydrocarbon Projects Get $300 Billion Boost Over 10 Years
Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

More Info

Will Iraq’s New Oil Minister Be Able To End The Iraqi Oil War

Iraqi oil

After months of street protests and political paralysis, the Iraqi parliament approved five of six cabinet nominees by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, including the country’s new oil minister—a move that could signal a significantly positive shift in Iraqi policy towards the Iraqi Kurdistan region regarding oil and natural gas issues.

Jabar Ali al-Luaibi, the former chief of South Oil Company, Iraq’s largest crude oil producer, was sworn in to the top oil ministry position earlier this week.

Iraq, the second largest oil-producing member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia, produces 4.6 million barrels of crude oil every day. Most of the supplies come from operations in the southern portion of the country, are run under South Oil Company.

In an interview with the Baghdad-based Sumaria TV, Luaibi noted that issues between the two parties are fundamentally resolvable.

"There are solutions to the existing problems between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government about the oil file,” the former oil executive said, according to Reuters.

Currently, Kurdistan exports 500,000 barrels per day, mostly to Turkey, independently of Baghdad’s supply contracts.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been willing to discuss potential solutions and establish unilateral oil exportation in the recent past, though the task could be tough for the Iraqi government to swallow in a bearish oil market.

The KRG’s June offer required guaranteed oil revenues of $1 billion every month in exchange for forfeiting unilateral oil exports – the Kurds’ key economic leverage over Baghdad in their struggle for independence. Related: Solar and Wind Manufacturing Is Thriving. Why Don't Mainstream Reporters Know?

The proposed figure would represent 17 percent of the Iraqi federal budget, which was the original deal between the Kurds and Baghdad before the latter cut out the former as punishment for exporting oil unilaterally.

Since then, Iraqi Kurds have refused to deliver any crude supplies to Baghdad for over a year in retribution for the government’s failure to offer them fair compensation for the oil found on what the KRG now considers to be their own land.

Kurdish officials have been open about their ambivalence regarding the route oil takes in reaching global markets, as long as the economics benefit the KRG.

Figures from May show the regional government generated $390 million in revenues by exporting 513,000 barrels to Turkey – far less than what is needed to pay debts owed to field operators, fund the ongoing war against the Islamic State, and secure oil-rich Kirkuk from the terrorist group.

A previous deal offered by the Iraqi government would have required the KRG to halt its unilateral exports, and in return, Iraq would pay the $747 million in monthly salaries for its 400,000 public employees that Kurdish officials had been struggling to come up with.

Fighters in Kurdistan’s Peshmerga have been known to defend their land against ISIS with patriotism and pride, though as months pass without pay, morale and stability in the KRG has begun crumbling. Related: Oil Spikes After EIA Reports Significant Crude, Gasoline Draw

In addition, the KRG’s faith in Iraqi offers has dwindled. Baghdad has failed to follow through on a number of earlier budget deals that would have ended the standoff over Kurdish oil, according to previous OilPrice reports.

The new Iraqi oil minister’s apparent determination and optimism in solving the oil export impasse could provide the fresh push both parties need in order to move forward in the resolution process.

Solving the KRG’s funding issue is key to guaranteeing an ISIS-free Iraq, especially as Kirkuk’s oil facilities face attacks from hidden sleeper cells, requiring the Peshmerga to be extra-vigilant and ready for battle. Adding Luaibi, a technocrat, as a new face in the negotiations could help restore mutual trust and equip both sides to reach their shared goal: a peaceful Iraq.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Bud on August 18 2016 said:
    Simple solution: Central gov needs to pay Kurds a month forward, so the Kurds are always 1 month ahead. This would be easy to structurally finance and the Kurds certainly deserve such a bone since the prevented a major disaster last year.

    To make it palatable to both sides the payment should be 750 million per month, including the up front payment, initially and until volumes reach 700K bpd at which point the payments go up to a billion on a forward basis. Both sides have some price risk and they can readjust if prices remain above 70 bucks for an extended period.

    They should also have a valve to allow the Kurds to export up to a few hundred thousand via turkey to keep everyone happy and this makes sense since the security of the deal will get the ioc's working quickly to develop the fields.

    They should also work out a gas delivery program for the Iraqi grid. Solved and no need to spend millions on consultants...

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News