• 3 hours Saudi Aramco CEO Affirms IPO On Track For H2 2018
  • 5 hours Canadia Ltd. Returns To Sudan For First Time Since Oil Price Crash
  • 6 hours Syrian Rebel Group Takes Over Oil Field From IS
  • 3 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 3 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 3 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 3 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 3 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 3 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 3 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 3 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 3 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 3 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 4 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 4 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 4 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 4 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 4 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 4 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 4 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 4 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 5 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 5 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 5 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 5 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 5 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 5 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 6 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 6 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 6 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 6 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 6 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 6 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 6 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 6 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 6 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 7 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 7 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 7 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
Alt Text

Kurdistan Accuses Baghdad Of Planning Oil Field Seizure

Kurdistan authorities have accused the…

Alt Text

Trump Just Made Iran A Wildcard

The impact of Trump’s decision…

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for US-based Divergente LLC consulting firm, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

More Info

Israeli Minister Stirs Pot With Call For Independent Kurdish Nation

Israeli Minister Stirs Pot With Call For Independent Kurdish Nation

In an unexpected geopolitical twist to a new phase of Turkish-Israeli relations, Israel has called for an independent Kurdish nation, which can only be based on crude oil discoveries and production bypassing Baghdad.

But it’s a bad time for anyone to make an independence bid on oil that’s sliding, and the question of which Kurds would be included risks major chaos.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has called for an independent Kurdish state, renewing the debate on the consequences of the birth of a new Kurdish nation and the feasibility of independence funded by oil at rock-bottom prices.

Which Kurds, exactly, would make up this potential new nation is a subject that could dictate the future geopolitical chaos to come. Israel has for the most part made it clear that it is referring to the Iraqi Kurds and the Syrian Kurds, not the Turkish Kurds of the PKK (Workers Party of Kurdistan) variety. This speaks volumes about where Israeli-Turkish relations could be going, but it removes none of the complications. Related: Oil Prices in 2016 Will Be Determined By These 6 Factors

Having deteriorated over the past decade, Israeli-Turkey relations are now on the mend by geopolitical default. Turkey has alienated just about everyone else, including Iran, and the downing of a Russian war plane means it needs to make some new friends, and fast. But the rapprochement is a cat-and-mouse game, and Israel’s quiet call for an independent Kurdish nation is both a veiled threat and an olive branch, depending on Turkey’s next move.

Israel keeps dangling carrots and swinging sticks, and Turkey keeps taking the bait. Turkey has been hitting the air waves of late indicating that it needs Israel, and Israel has also been courting Turkey in new ways.

The friends Turkey has alienated have natural gas—so does Israel. The fact that reports are being ‘leaked’ out of Israel about the potential to see Israeli gas exported to Turkey are significant. Most likely this is an Israeli gimmick to push Turkey to a deal sooner rather than later, sensing Ankara’s growing desperation. The ‘leak’ has also been followed by convenient ‘surveys’ that claim to show that Turks view Russia as a greater enemy than Israel at this point.

But Israel is also accusing Turkey of buying oil from ISIS and helping it to fund its terrorist operations. Related: 60 Reasons Why Oil Investors Should Hang On

For Israel, which has made some amazing natural gas discoveries in the Levant Basin, Turkey is another good export market. It could also be a transport hub for Israeli gas. But Israel will be calling the shots here because Turkey is more desperate to wean itself off of Russian gas than Israel is to find a new market and transport route.

So where do the Kurds fit in? Geopolitically, there’s nowhere to fit all three nation groups without major consequences.

The Kurdish population in Turkey is estimated to be around 12-16 million, and through the PKK, the Kurds have been engaged in an uprising against the Turkish government since 1978. Without a brokered deal between the PKK and the Turkish government, some experts believe that the formation of a separate Kurdish state might lead to more unrest among the Kurds of Turkey, which might add to the unrest in the region. This is Turkey’s greatest fear, so the Israel dangling of a Kurdish nation is a veiled threat in general, but toned down with the inclusion of only Iraqi and Syrian Kurds.

It’s a tricky relationship for Turkey, which receives oil from the Iraqi Kurds and has a strong business footprint in Iraqi Kurdistan, which could not support a nation of Kurds from Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Related: Oil Up 3% But Bearish News Is On The Way

The Iran element also suggests that Israel may be insincere in its apparent call for an independent Kurdish nation. Iran wants greater influence in the Middle East, and an independent Kurdish state will likely help it along. Keep in mind, too, that with a stronger Iran, any consensus among the OPEC nations will remain a dream.

The outstanding question is whether the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is strong enough to go it alone. The budget is taking a hit thanks both to its expenditures in fighting of the Islamic State and weak oil prices.

But producers still continue to impress investors with two resounding facts: The KRG controls around 45 billion barrels of known oil reserves and has a direct market to Turkey; and it’s one of the cheapest places on Earth to produce. Genel says it produces as low as $1 a barrel.

Can it fund nationhood? Investors seem to think so, but geopolitics may decide otherwise.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com

Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Zubair Ellahi on January 29 2016 said:
    The nation which committed the biggest robbery of 21st century by stealing / forcefully occupying land of Palestinians and depriving them of statehood in their own remaining land is recommending state for another nation. Height of hypocrisy
  • Dillawer K on January 29 2016 said:
    If Palestinians want others to feel for their misery they should be the first to feel misery and operations of similar groups, in this case a nation; the Kurds. Yaser Arafat's so called freedom fighters fought shoulder to shoulder with Saddam killing Kurds. Live and let live my friend.

Leave a comment

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