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Global Energy Advisory – 16th October 2015

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• Hungary has reportedly increased oil imports from Iraqi Kurdistan through Croatia, in an attempt to replace some volumes of Russian crude. Hungary’s MOL has been using Croatia’s state-controlled JANAF pipeline to bring in Kurdish imports to the Adriatic port of Omisalj. The Central European JANAF system runs through Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Hungary. Kurdish imports here offset Russian oil to Central Europe coming through the Druzhba pipeline, which delivers oil via Ukraine to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The main point here is to gain more leverage over price negotiations for Russian product. MOL owns 49.1% of Croatia’s INA and two Croatian refineries. In 2014, MOL and JANAF had signed an agreement for MOL to transport 1.30 million tons of oil through Omisalj. This also benefits MOL because it has assets in Iraqi Kurdistan, which went into production last year. MOL has invested around $1 billion in Iraqi Kurdistan to date.

• With that in mind, MOL will not be happy about the current state of affairs in Iraqi Kurdistan. This once stable haven in a chaotic Iraq is now plunging into turmoil, with the fight against the Islamic State (IS) having taken its political toll. United, the Kurds have been a major force with which to be reckoned—divided, they stand to fall along with Iraq. And right now, they are divided, thanks to ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party…

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