• 4 minutes England Running Out of Water?
  • 7 minutes Trump to Make Allies Pay More to Host US Bases
  • 10 minutes U.S. Shale Output may Start Dropping Next Year
  • 14 minutes Washington Eyes Crackdown On OPEC
  • 15 mins One Last Warning For The U.S. Shale Patch
  • 8 hours Russian Effect: U.S. May Soon Pause Preparations For Delivering F-35s To Turkey
  • 7 hours Poll: Will Renewables Save the World?
  • 7 hours China's Expansion: Italy Leads Europe Into China’s Embrace
  • 3 hours Chile Tests Floating Solar Farm
  • 7 hours New Rebate For EVs in Canada
  • 6 hours Trump Tariffs On China Working
  • 10 hours The Political Debacle: Brexit delayed
  • 35 mins Trump sells out his base to please Wallstreet and Oil industry
  • 22 hours Oil-sands recovery by solvents has started on a trial basis; first loads now shipped.
  • 16 hours Boeing Faces Safety Questions After Second 737 Crash In Five Months
  • 5 hours 3 Pipes: EPIC 900K, CACTUS II 670K, GREY OAKS 800K
  • 10 hours Biomass, Ethanol No Longer Green
Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer and political analyst based in Michigan. His work on matters related to the geopolitical aspects of the global energy sector,…

More Info

Trending Discussions

Kurds Seize Oil Initiative in Iraq

Crude oil from the semiautonomous Kurdish region of Iraq has reached the international market for the first time. Oil was ferried by truck across the northern Iraqi border to Turkey from the Taq Taq oil field, operated by Turkish energy company Genel Energy. The central government considers unilateral oil trading from the Kurdish north illegal, highlighting a political row that's been festering for years. Iraq, however, is now the second largest crude oil producer among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Production is gaining steam 10 years after U.S. forces invaded the country, but its full potential is limited by a lack of export options. Baghdad says it has sole authority to determine Iraq's energy future, but developments in the Kurdish north may eventually undermine its confidence.

Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion and the fall of the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraq now sits in the No. 2 spot among OPEC members, just behind Saudi Arabia, with an average 2012 oil production rate of 3 million barrels per day. The vast majority of Iraq's oil production comes from fields situated near its southern ports, but about 25 percent comes from northern oil fields. Exports from the northern Taq Taq oil field alone are estimated at around 25,000 bpd.  Iraq, as a whole, could eventually produce nearly 12 million bpd if its oil developments plans go forward unimpeded.

Related article: TURKEY-IRAQI KURDISTAN: Another Step Towards Kurdish Independence

The central government in Baghdad, however, says unilateral action in the Kurdish north is illegal, though few consumers have faced any serious consequences from dealing with Kurdish crude. The semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government has embraced export plans with its neighbors in defiance of Baghdad's wishes. Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said early this year the government would sue Genel and other companies like it if they exported crude oil from the Kurdish north. Genel, however, has shrugged off the threat by saying it expects to get oil out of Iraqi Kurdistan by pipeline at some point next year. Last week, a 30,000-ton cargo of crude oil from Kurdistan was sold on the international market for the first time.

A proposed hydrocarbon law that would govern contracts and regulation in Iraq has sat idled since 2008. Crude oil production has increased despite the political turmoil, however. OPEC, in its monthly report for April, states that Iraq produced around 3.09 million bpd last month. Iraq, the cartel said, will enjoy "a comfortable fiscal surplus" thanks in part to its vast oil reserves, much of which remain unexplored. The U.S. Energy Department's assessment of the country notes that Iraq could hit the 12 million bpd mark by 2017, but it's constrained currently by the lack of export options. Southern pipelines are operating at capacity and existing northern routes are vulnerable to sabotage and other restrictions. Progress to overcome those challenges has been slow because of ongoing political disputes, the report said. The Kurdish government, in what it said was a redacted part of an analysis from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, said it may be the one that holds the keys to Iraq's oil future.

"In Iraq, liberated from the heavy hand of top-down centralized rule that mismanaged the country for so long, the Kurdistan Region was and is determined to seize the moment and move forward," it said.

By. Daniel J. Graeber of Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




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