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Global Energy Advisory March 10th 2017

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• Iran and Iraq have reached an agreement that will see a resolution of the two neighbors’ squabble over oil and gas fields they share territorially. These fields have over the years regularly been the topic of dispute. As part of this shift in bilateral relations, the respective oil ministers this month discussed the construction of a pipeline that would see oil flow from the northern Iraqi fields around Kirkuk to Iran for further exports or for processing at the Abadan refinery. For Iraq, this means regaining control over the Kirkuk fields now controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), or at least an attempt to regain control since the Kurds have already voiced their opposition to this development. The thawing between Tehran and Iraq, therefore, would almost certainly mean a rise in the hostility between the central government in Baghdad and Erbil.

• In Libya, there is a new actor on the militia scene in the Oil Crescent. The Benghazi Defense Brigades last week wrestled control of two of the four oil terminals in the area from the Libyan National Army (LNA) and then surrendered it to the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), which used to control all four ports until last September and use them as a bargaining chip in payment negotiations with the UN-backed government. The Islamist BDB was formed as opposition to the LNA, led by General Khalifa Haftar and, according to the Terrorism Research and Analysis…

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