• 7 hours OPEC, Russia Said To Announce Oil Pact Extension On Nov 30
  • 10 hours Wintershall And LetterOne In Talks For $12B Oil, Gas Merger
  • 12 hours India Exempts State Oil Firms Mergers From Competition Approval
  • 14 hours Turkey Targets $5B Investment In Wind Energy By End-2017
  • 16 hours Weatherford Looks To Sell Assets To Ease Some Of $8B Debt
  • 17 hours OPEC Set To Move Fast On Cut Extension Decision
  • 20 hours Nigeria Makes First Step Away From Oil
  • 1 day Russia Approves Profit-Based Oil Tax For 2019
  • 1 day French Strike Disrupts Exxon And Total’s Oil Product Shipments
  • 2 days Kurdistan’s Oil Exports Still Below Pre-Conflict Levels
  • 2 days Oil Production Cuts Taking A Toll On Russia’s Economy
  • 2 days Aramco In Talks With Chinese Petrochemical Producers
  • 2 days Federal Judge Grants Go-Ahead On Keystone XL Lawsuit
  • 2 days Maduro Names Chavez’ Cousin As Citgo Boss
  • 2 days Bidding Action Heats Up In UK’s Continental Shelf
  • 2 days Keystone Pipeline Restart Still Unknown
  • 2 days UK Offers North Sea Oil Producers Tax Relief To Boost Investment
  • 3 days Iraq Wants To Build Gas Pipeline To Kuwait In Blow To Shell
  • 3 days Trader Trafigura Raises Share Of Oil Purchases From State Firms
  • 3 days German Energy Group Uniper Rejects $9B Finnish Takeover Bid
  • 3 days Total Could Lose Big If It Pulls Out Of South Pars Deal
  • 3 days Dakota Watchdog Warns It Could Revoke Keystone XL Approval
  • 4 days Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Major Crude Draw
  • 4 days Citgo President And 5 VPs Arrested On Embezzlement Charges
  • 4 days Gazprom Speaks Out Against OPEC Production Cut Extension
  • 4 days Statoil Looks To Lighter Oil To Boost Profitability
  • 4 days Oil Billionaire Becomes Wind Energy’s Top Influencer
  • 4 days Transneft Warns Urals Oil Quality Reaching Critical Levels
  • 4 days Whitefish Energy Suspends Work In Puerto Rico
  • 4 days U.S. Authorities Arrest Two On Major Energy Corruption Scheme
  • 4 days Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 4 days Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 5 days South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 5 days Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 5 days Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 5 days Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 5 days ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 7 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 7 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 8 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
Alt Text

Kurdistan Proposes Immediate Ceasefire With Iraq

The Kurdistan Regional Government has…

Alt Text

Kurdistan Ready To Hand Over Oil For 17% Of Iraqi Budget

The Kurdistan Regional Government has…

As Kurds Gain Power, Baghdad May be Ready to Deal

As Kurds Gain Power, Baghdad May be Ready to Deal

As the Iraqi Kurds boost their bargaining power with their first unilateral sale of crude oil on the international market, and new unilateral pipelines coming online soon, Kurdish officials and Baghdad have reached a tentative agreement to restore relations.

Last week, the Iraqi central government and authorities of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) put together a seven-point deal that could see the Kurds resume oil exports to Iraq in return for a revision of the Iraqi 2013 budget, which cut two-thirds out of the Kurd’s share.

On 1 May, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani announced that the two sides had made headway in discussions on the issue following over a month of boycotts of the Iraqi parliament by Kurdish deputies over the budget discrepancy.

In January, the KRG halted exports of crude through Iraqi-government-controlled pipelines over non-payment of fees by Baghdad (to wit: $4.5 billion). Baghdad has refused to pay arrears for foreign oil companies operating on KRG territory, which the Iraqi central government says is a violation of the country’s sovereignty. 

Related article: OPEC Falling Apart at the Seams

Baghdad attempted to hit back at the Kurds by stiffing them in the central budget. The new 2013 budget, passed on 7 March, gave the Kurds only $646 million of the $3.5 billion they requested. 

The provisional agreement between the Kurds and the Iraqi central government also attempts to resolve the question of the disputed territories, which lie between the two—most notably, Kirkuk, which is home to over 40% of Iraq’s total oil reserves.

The seven-point agreement promises to redraw the map of this territory, based in part on demographic changes and a census.

It comes as the Kurds deploy troops ostensibly to fill in a security vacuum in the disputed territories as sectarian violence flares as a result of the spillover of the conflict in Syria. In reality, the Kurdish peshmerga forces are guarding Kirkuk’s oil fields and wells.

What’s really happening here is that Erbil (the power center of the KRG) sees an opening, as Baghdad is being consumed by the chaos of sectarian violence that is threatening to turn into an all-out Sunni revolt and become a second front in the Syria conflict. Baghdad’s position is weakened, while the Kurds are only being strengthened.

Related article: Kurds Seize Oil Initiative in Iraq

Unlike anywhere else in Iraq, Erbil is a center of stability, however corrupt. It is flourishing, and the talk is not of the rising unrest in Iraq, but of the peace deal between KRG benefactor Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). What this heralds—at least for KRG President Massoud Barzani and his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)—is an even stronger relation with Turkey. All of this is moving the KRG towards feasible economic independence.

What is often left out of this story on a mainstream media level is the clear division between Kurdistan’s two key political parties—the KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by the Talabani family. While the PUK largely controls disputed Kirkuk and the eastern part of Kurdistan, Barzani’s KDP controls the west, and the lucrative border crossing with Turkey.

The KDP sees a chance for independence that is economically viable—and growing more so by the day. The PUK’s economic interests lie more in keeping Iraq together. So when we talk about Kurdish independence, this is a highly polarized notion, both politically and geographically. And talks with Baghdad falter on this point.

By. Jen Alic of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




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