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Global Energy Advisory 4th March 2016

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• Several situations have combined to see a reduction in Iraqi oil sales and exports for February, though exports are still at record highs. Exports from Turkey’s port of Ceyhan remain blocked—as of 16 February. These exports include those controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the Kurdish region of Iraq as well as crude from Kirkuk in northern Iraq, coming from the central government’s North Oil Company (NOC). A section of this pipeline has been rendered inoperable and has cost the KRG—for one--$200 million so far. An explosion on this pipeline two weeks ago was reported without any details, and there still are none. Turkey seemed to be blaming the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in a knee-jerk reaction, but the Kurds kept quiet—not pointing any fingers. No one has claimed responsibility, and this is off profile for both the PKK and the Islamic State (IS). There are now suspicions emerging that the Turks shut down the pipeline themselves in order to launch military operations against the PKK near the section of the pipeline that’s been offline. The Kurdish silence on the issue would suggest this might be the case as well. How the Kurds would agree to such a move remains unclear because it certainly cannot afford the losses right now. And if they didn’t agree, then it remains unclear what the consequences of this will end up being. Genel Energy—one of the main producers…

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