• 6 minutes WTI @ 67.50, charts show $62.50 next
  • 14 minutes Saudi Fund Wants to Take Tesla Private?
  • 18 minutes California Solar Mandate Based on False Facts
  • 1 hour Starvation, horror in Venezuela
  • 1 hour Monsanto hit by $289 Million for cancerous weedkiller
  • 8 hours WTI @ 69.33 headed for $70s - $80s end of August
  • 4 hours Why hydrogen economics is does not work
  • 12 hours Saudi Production Cut or Demand Drop?
  • 7 hours WSJ *still* refuses to acknowledge U.S. Shale Oil industry's horrible economics and debts
  • 15 mins Oil prices---Tug of War: Sanctions vs. Trade War
  • 21 mins Correlation does not equal causation, but they do tend to tango on occasion
  • 13 hours What Turkey Sanctions Are Really About
  • 28 mins Russia retaliate: Our Response to U.S. Sanctions Will Be Precise And Painful
  • 10 hours Merkel, Putin to discuss Syria, Ukraine, Nord Stream 2
  • 6 hours Saudi Aramco IPO Seems Unlikely
  • 13 hours < sigh > $90 Oil Is A Very Real Possibility
Alt Text

Trump vs Iran: A War Of Words

As U.S. sanctions on Iran…

Nick Cunningham

Nick Cunningham

Nick Cunningham is a freelance writer on oil and gas, renewable energy, climate change, energy policy and geopolitics. He is based in Pittsburgh, PA.

More Info

Trending Discussions

Iraqi Government Threatens Action Against Kurds as Oil Exports Set to Begin

Iraqi Government Threatens Action Against Kurds as Oil Exports Set to Begin

Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs firmly stated the central government will take action, “including fiscal measures,” if Kurdistan begins exporting oil without coming to an agreement with Baghdad. The remarks came as Minister Hussain al-Shahristani spoke at a conference in London on January 28. The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) announced in mid-January that oil had begun to flow through a pipeline towards Turkey and that exports would officially start by the end of the month.

Shahristani argues that Kurdish oil must be exported through the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), a government-owned entity responsible for marketing Iraq’s oil. He reiterated that oil extracted from any region of Iraq, including Kurdistan, is the “property of the Iraqi people,” meaning that it is owned by the central government.

Related article: The Iran Momentum: Hard to Slow, Hard to Control

The tough statement follows similar threats from other Iraqi government officials in recent weeks as the Kurds prepare to export oil to Turkey. On January 17 Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said Iraq will take legal steps to punish Turkey, Kurdistan, and the international oil companies involved in exporting oil. And on January 12 Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki promised to cut KRG’s share of the national budget if it begins exports without approval from the central government.

The conflict escalated when Baghdad followed through on Maliki’s threat. It released a draft national budget on January 15 that completely cut off funding for Kurdistan, a move meant to put pressure on the KRG to heed the central government’s demands. Kurdish ministers walked out of the cabinet session when the budget was released.

The central government has been angling to prevent Kurdistan from unilaterally exporting oil to Turkey, but that does not mean Baghdad doesn’t want Kurdish oil to flow. Indeed, according to the budget, the central government is requiring 400,000 barrels of oil from Kurdistan to be exported, and any shortfall will be made up by deducting from Kurdistan’s share of national revenues. Kurdistan is entitled to a 17% share of revenues collected as part of Iraq’s revenue sharing arrangement. The KRG argues that those funds are often not delivered.

Related article: UAE to Invest $1.2bn in Kurdish Oil

Yet it also appears that Kurdistan is pushing for much more than merely to export oil on its own terms. Ali Balu, a former head of Iraqi parliament’s oil and gas committee recently stated that within a few years “Kurdistan is going to be rid of its status as a region within Iraq,” according to an article in Rudaw, a Kurdish news web site. Balu went on, “a plan is underway for Kurdistan to be an independent state in the near future.”

Exporting oil from Kurdistan is a key step in the KRG’s plan to eventually declare independence from Iraq. Clearly, Baghdad is not oblivious to this fact, seeing which way the winds are blowing. This is why the central government is so adamant about centralizing the oil export process. Both sides may be unwilling to give in, but the situation appears to be coming to a head, as Kurdistan expects to initiate exports within days.

By. Nick Cunningham




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • Bob on February 05 2014 said:
    There's not enough "glue" in the world to fuse the Shiites and Sunnis together. Check it out.

Leave a comment




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