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Geopolitics

Good news this week for oil producers in Iraqi Kurdistan, with a promise by the Kurdish authorities to start monthly payments in September. It has been a rough road not just for key Kurdistan producers such as Genel, Gulf Keystone and DNO, but also for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which has not only had to deal with the Iraqi Central government’s withholding of the Kurds’ portion of the national budget but also with funding its Peshmerga fighters to push back the Islamic State in northern Iraq. This has left the KRG in arrears to major producers to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, and has also forced with withdrawal of some smaller producers. We continue to see this as an excellent venue because we’re looking at a lot of oil that is very cheap to drill, which is the big selling point. Genel certainly understands this. Not only will these producers start seeing payments in September—against all odds—but as Kurdistan’s crude exports continue to rise through next year, the Kurdish authorities will also make additional revenues available.

According to a U.S. Treasury Department official, it will take six to nine months to lift sanctions on Iran once the conditions of the nuclear energy agreement are met. The same official said that under sanctions, the Iranian currency has declined more than 50%, ultimately costing the country an additional $70 billion in oil revenues. Once sanctions are lifted,…




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