Kurdish Independence Could Deal A Major Blow To Oil Markets

25 Aug 2017   Iraq, Kurdistan

The future stability of OPEC’s second-largest oil and gas producer could be decided by the end of 2017. Unrest is growing in Iraq as the Kurdish referendum grows nearer. Soon, the Iraq that we have known since the end of WWII could be drawing new borders. At the same time, the conflict between the Shi’a (supported by Iran) and the Sunni (Saudi-UAE) could be heating up again. Regional actors and political friction have added fuel to the fire, in the first signs that the strong Shi’a majority is experiencing internal instability. One of the main leaders of the region’s Shi’a has broken ranks in Iran’s Shi’a led government factions just as Sunni power players in the Arab Gulf are expecting a collapse of the Shi’a power triangle of Iran-Iraq-Syria. The unexpected visit of Shi’ite cleric and power broker Muqtada Al Sadr to Saudi Arabia and the UAE has stirred […]

Turkish foreign minister says to tell Iraqi Kurdish officials independence vote wrong

23 Aug 2017   Kurdistan, Turkey

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a news conference at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium July 25, 2017. ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday he would tell Iraqi Kurdish officials later in the day that their decision to hold an independence referendum was wrong and that Ankara expects it to cancel the vote. Cavusoglu was speaking at a news conference in Baghdad with his Iraqi counterpart before traveling to Erbil in northern Iraq to meet Kurdish officials later on Wednesday.

Putin’s Newest Oil Play: Russia Gains Foothold In Iraqi Oil Patch

14 Jun 2017   Kurdistan, Russia

The Kurds of Iraq are going through one of their most tumultuous periods of history. On the verge of finally seeing the much-heralded independence referendum, through Erbil is doing everything it can to stay financially afloat, squash the Islamic State and expand its oil sector – and it is a pretty thin line to walk with all the events going on simultaneously. The latest developments in Kurdish-Russian relations might be indicative of even deeper cooperation and convergence between the two nations, as new petroleum deals will inevitably have political ramifications. Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, Russia’s leading state-owned oil companies, seem very intent on increasing their presence in Kurdistan, with the former walking an extra mile by venturing into Kurdistan’s infrastructure segment. The KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government)-Rosneft pre-payment deal, signed this February, has successfully laid the groundwork for future rapprochement. Under the conditions of the deal, Rosneft is reported to […]

Genel to take about $1 bln impairment on Iraqi Kurdistan field

29 Feb 2016   Iraq, Kurdistan

Genel Energy Plc said it expected to book about $1 billion in impairment to the 2015 value of its Taq Taq oilfield in Iraqi Kurdistan, citing reduced estimate for recoverable reserves there and falling oil prices. Shares in the company lost nearly a fourth of their value in early morning trade in London. Following a review, the oil producer said it estimated that Taq Taq had proven and probable reserves of 356 million barrels of oil (mmbls) as of Dec. 31, down from its earlier assumption of 683 million barrels in June 30, 2011. By the end of last year, Taq Taq field had already produced 184 mmbbls gross. The news comes after Genel said earlier this month that it would resume drilling work at Taq Taq in the coming weeks to ramp up production, despite a roughly 40 percent fall in oil prices over the past year to […]

Iraqi Kurds Plan Independence Vote Before Before U.S. Election

27 Jan 2016   Iraq, Kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdish leaders plan to hold a referendum on the region’s independence by November, an official said on Wednesday, in a move that could lead to the break-up of OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer. Massoud Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government, wants the vote to take place before the U.S. presidential election, said Kifah Mahmoud, an adviser at the president’s office. He didn’t explain the reasoning behind the timeline. Barzani met Kurdish political leaders on Tuesday to discuss the timeline, Mahmoud said. While they all agreed to hold the referendum, the vote “doesn’t mean independence. It is the decision of the people,” he said. The Kurds, who historically have resisted control by Arab-dominated governments in Baghdad, are independently developing oil reserves they say may total 45 billion barrels — equivalent to almost a third of the deposits in the rest of Iraq, according to BP Plc data. Saad […]

Erbil power project halted after attack on foreign contractors

12 Jan 2016   Kurdistan

Work on one of Kurdistan’s major new power plants has stopped after a Jan. 6 attack that was sparked by a commercial dispute between foreign companies and a local Kurdish subcontractor.”Some individuals attacked the companies that are constructing Khabat thermal power power plant,” said Rizgar Mustafa Muhammed, mayor of Khabat sub-district. “As a result, the companies have halted operations on the site.”The attackers damaged vehicles and assaulted at least one foreign worker, accordi… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Turkey shuts key Kurdistan border crossing

17 Dec 2015   Kurdistan, Turkey

The main border crossing between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdistan region remains closed for a second day, as Turkey ramps up a military offensive apparently aimed at Kurdish militants in the country’s southeast.“The Ibrahim Khalil border crossing point is still closed and we don’t have any clue when the Turkish officials will decide to re-open it,” said Khalil Mahmoud, the mayor of Zakho district in Dohuk province, where the border is located.As the only official crossing point bet… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Kurd Rebels Fighting Islamic State Boost Hand for Turkey Talks

1 Sep 2014   Kurdistan, Turkey

After fighting the Turkish army for decades, the Kurdistan Workers Party is now confronting a foe that’s shared by its erstwhile enemy, strengthening the group’s hand in talks on a political settlement. Fighters linked to the PKK, as the group is known, are battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to Turkish and Kurdish officials and media. The PKK, branded a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and European Union, is also in talks with the Ankara government to end a 30-year armed struggle for autonomy. Moves toward Kurdish self-rule elsewhere in the Middle East have accelerated during the crisis spurred by the Islamic State advance. The Kurds who rule a semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq, are receiving U.S. and European weapons to aid […]

Kurdish Fighters Succeed Where Iraqi Army Fails

14 Jun 2014   Kurdistan

Kurdish Iraqi Peshmerga forces deploy on the outskirts of Kirkuk, near areas controlled by Sunni Muslim Jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Erbil, Iraq—Brig. Halgord Hikmat, the spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Peshmerga Ministry, made little effort to conceal his satisfaction on Friday. “Yes,” he said with a cheeky grin. “It is a very nice time to be Kurdish.” Only a few hours before, Kurdish soldiers known as Peshmerga were engaging Islamist insurgent fighters in Diyala Province, picking up the slack from hundreds of retreating Iraqi troops. On Thursday Peshmerga fighters moved decisively to occupy the nearby city of Kirkuk, easily expelling Islamist fighters who had sent Iraqi troops literally running for the hills. The Iraqi government in Baghdad has suffered a string of humiliating military defeats this week as insurgents from the al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham conquered […]

First Gas Arrives at Duhok Power Station

28 May 2014   Kurdistan

The Kurdistan Regional Government is pleased to announce the successful delivery via pipeline of the first quantities of natural gas from the gas field at Summail to fuel the Duhok Power Station. The Summail Gas Field lies within the area of the Duhok Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and is operated by Norwegian company DNO, which together with Anglo-Turkish PSC partner Genel Energy, signed a landmark gas sales agreement (GSA) with the KRG on September 18, 2013. Long-term deliveries are expected to reach 120 million cubic feet per day sold on a take – or – pay basis for the duration of the production – showing the KRG can successfully develop its newly discovered gas assets in Kurdistan. Under the long – term GSA, the KRG will purchase up to 120mmscf/d. Initial volumes will start at around 55mmscf/d, ramping up to 120mmscf/d within the next […]

Elections unleash political flux in Kurdistan

30 Apr 2014   Kurdistan

The upstart Gorran party is likely to take control of key posts, upending the old political order and marking a new era of intra-Kurdish volatility. Iraqi Kurds need a strong showing in the country’s April 30 elections to ensure they retain leverage in Baghdad, but on the streets of the autonomous Kurdistan region, there is little talk of the national scene.When citizens go to the polls, they will also be casting ballots – for the first time in eight years – to determine the leadership of three provincial governments that comprise Kurdistan. The outcome of this vote will likely solidify a massive change in the balance of power among the… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue.If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Kurdish government releases energy revenue data

23 Apr 2014   Kurdistan

“Billions of dollars” generated from the oil and gas sector have benefited the citizens of the Kurdish region of Iraq, the Kurdish government said.The semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government published data on revenue generated from 2007-13. It said its Ministry of Natural Resources created gross revenue of around $9.7 billion. “[The ministry] has presided over the impressive growth of the oil and gas industry in the Region, generating billions of dollars that have benefitted each and every citizen of Kurdistan, and also those of the rest of Iraq,” Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami said in a statement Monday. The KRG and central government in Baghdad are at odds over who controls what aspects of the energy sector. The central government says unilateral activity in the Kurdish energy sector violates the nation’s constitution. KRG said revenues generated from the energy sector have been within limits outlined by a 2007 agreement […]

New Kurdish oil online for DNO International

18 Mar 2014   Kurdistan

Norwegian energy company DNO International said Monday it started producing oil from new wells in the Tawke field in the Kurdish region of Iraq. DNO said Tawke-21 and Tawke-22 were producing oil at a combined rate of 37,000 barrels per day. Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement production from the Tawke field was close to what the company can deliver through existing pipeline infrastructure and by road. “With the exceptional results from these latest wells … we are on track to meet our ambitious deliverability goal of 200,000 barrels per day in 2014,” he said Monday. Genel Energy, led by former BP boss Tony Hayward , said in January an energy agreement between the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government and Turkey, coupled with the completion of new pipeline infrastructure, should lead to a rise in oil exports from oil fields in the Kurdish region. Kurdish oil issues are […]

Kurdistan tourist towns last resort for Iraqi refugees

13 Mar 2014   Kurdistan

The holiday season has yet to begin, but hotels in the mountain resort towns of Iraq’s Kurdistan region are already fully booked. The patrons are not tourists but refugees who have fled conflict in the country’s arid Sunni Arab heartland for the relative safety of its autonomous north, where Kurds run their own affairs. Shaqlawa may seem an unlikely refuge, but the resort town’s population has swollen by almost a half since the start of the year. On the main street of the town, crowded with construction sites, motels and guest houses, the newly opened “Falluja Kebab Restaurant” is testimony to its new residents. It is no small irony in a country with a historic enmity between Sunni Arabs and Kurds that residents of Anbar, a place synonmous with Arab nationalism, should now seek sanctuary with their onetime foe. In this mix, there is mistrust […]

Kurdistan Authorities, NGOs Struggle to Cope With Influx of Anbar Refugees

12 Mar 2014   Kurdistan

An hour after giving birth in Iraq’s war-torn Anbar province, 16-year-old Heyan Hussein was bundled into a vehicle with her newborn baby and whisked north to the city of Kalar in the Kurdistan Region, the only peaceful portion of Iraq which has become a last haven for tens of thousands of refugees from all parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.  “I left the city of Fallujah (in Anbar) 15 days ago, one hour after my son was born,” the teenager said, clutching her baby as she stood in line with her parents at a food distribution carried out by two foreign non-governmental organization (NGO). “My husband is still there with his own parents. There was no room for him to come with us,” she explained. Hussein stressed that the Iraqi government was not differentiating between civilians and the terrorists they are fighting, a sentiment […]

Genel Energy expects more oil from Kurdish north of Iraq

7 Mar 2014   Kurdistan

Oil produced from the Kurdish region of Iraq was lower than expected during the fourth quarter, though the trend should reverse, Genel Energy said Thursday. Anglo-Turkish company Genel said net production in 2013 averaged 44,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, about 6,000 barrels less than expected. A late 2013 fire at the company’s Taq Taq field and “pricing sensitivity in the domestic market” for oil from the Tawke field, both in the Kurdish north of Iraq, were the primary causes of the production shortfall, it said. “Production guidance for 2014 is set at 60,000 – 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, translating into a revenue guidance range of between $500 million – $600 million,” the company said in a Thursday report. “Production volumes are expected to grow significantly year-on-year as the new [Kurdish] export pipeline comes into operation.” The Kurdistan Regional Government […]

Kurdish gov’t takes stake in Miran gas field from Genel Energy

25 Feb 2014   Kurdistan, Turkey

Turkish energy company Genel Energy said Monday the semiautonomous Kurdish government in Iraq was taking a 25 percent interest in the region’s Miran gas field. Genel said the Kurdistan Regional Government exercised its right to take a stake in Miran production. “Accordingly, Genel’s working and paying interests in the Miran production sharing contract will fall from 100 percent to 75 percent, with the KRG’s working and paying interests at 25 percent,” the company said in a statement. No financial terms were disclosed The Miran contract area covers 293 square miles and contains gross resources estimated at 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 95 million barrels of oil. Genel said it was working with the Kurdish government on a gas sales agreement for mid-2014. The Kurdish and central Iraqi governments are at odds over who controls what aspects of the energy sector. […]

Kurds Have Not Agreed to Export Oil via Iraq’s SOMO

22 Feb 2014   Iraq, Kurdistan

Kurdistan has not agreed to export crude via Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO), a spokesman for the autonomous region’s government said on Thursday, contradicting earlier comments by a top energy official in Baghdad. Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani said in a televised interview late on Wednesday that the Kurds had agreed to export through SOMO, which would have removed a major sticking point between them over oil exports. Kurdistan’s prime minister and top energy official travelled to Baghdad earlier this week, intensifying efforts to settle the long-running dispute over exports of oil from the region via a new independent pipeline to Turkey. But Kurdistan Regional Government spokesman Safeen Dizayee said on Thursday that was not the case. “Absolutely we have not reached any agreement to export oil via SOMO. The dialogue and discussions are still underway”. Dizayee described […]

Kurds Say Have Not Agreed to Export Oil Via Iraq’s SOMO

20 Feb 2014   Iraq, Kurdistan

Kurdistan has not agreed to export crude via Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO), a spokesman for the autonomous region’s government said on Thursday, contradicting earlier comments by a top energy official in Baghdad. Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani said in a televised interview late on Wednesday that the Kurds had agreed to export through SOMO, which would have removed a major sticking point between them over oil exports. Kurdistan’s prime minister and top energy official travelled to Baghdad earlier this week, intensifying efforts to settle the long-running dispute over exports of oil from the region via a new independent pipeline to Turkey. But Kurdistan Regional Government spokesman Safeen Dizayee said on Thursday that was not the case. “Absolutely we have not reached any agreement to export oil via SOMO. The dialogue and discussions are still underway”. Dizayee described […]

Tensions rise as Iraqi Kurds’ oil flows to Turkey

7 Feb 2014   Iraq, Kurdistan

As Iraqi Kurdistan exports oil northward to Turkey through its own pipeline despite dire warnings from Baghdad about the consequences of such independent action, the prospect of a collision between Iraq’s central government and the semiautonomous Kurds increases. But as parliamentary elections loom in April, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seeking a third term amid a swelling al-Qaida insurgency raging in western Iraq, Baghdad may not be in a position to get tough right now or pick a fight with the restive Kurds and their new ally Turkey. Analysts have long speculated that the likely outcome of the Kurds’ defiance is that they could eventually declare their enclave across Iraq’s three northern provinces an independent state. The fear is that other regions, particularly the south, which contains two-thirds of Iraq’s oil reserves of 143.1 billion barrels, will also want greater autonomy from a […]

Kurdish exports stop, giving room for political talks

31 Jan 2014   Iraq, Kurdistan

Unions representing the oil sector and other Iraqi workers are pressing Parliament to pass labor and union laws before their current session ends, measures that would end Saddam Hussein-era imposition on worker rights and go far toward addressing outstanding demands by workers of the state-owned South Oil Company (SOC) .

Oryx encouraged by Kurdish oil prospects

29 Jan 2014   Kurdistan

Henry Legarre, chief operating officer at Oryx Petroleum, said his company was encouraged by results of drilling operations in the Kurdish north of Iraq. Oryx, which has headquarters in Alberta, Canada, said it completed drilling an exploration well in the Banan prospect in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The company said a third-party survey of the prospect in 2013 put the prospective oil resources at 102 million barrels of oil. Its Demir Dagh appraisal well in the region should be completed during the second quarter of 2014. “Observations during drilling of all wells on the Demir Dagh structure continue to be encouraging,” Legarre said in a statement Monday. Both wells are in the Hawler license area in the Kurdish north. The Korean National Oil Corp., a minority partner for Oryx at Hawler, announced in March it made an oil discovery at the site. […]

Kurds’ oil deal with Turkey ‘endangers Iraq’s budget’

25 Jan 2014   Kurdistan

The feud between Iraq’s central government and the minority Kurds’ semiautonomous enclave over oil is reaching critical mass, the head of parliament’s treasury committee says. Haidar Al Abadi, a senior legislator, has warned the government’s projected 2014 budget will fall apart if Kurdistan does not hand over revenue from independent oil exports to northern neighbor Turkey that began recently. Such action by the Kurdistan Regional Government, which is defying the Baghdad regime of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki by pursuing its own oil and gas exports outside the Oil Ministry’s control, will leave the central authority no option but to halt all state spending in the enclave. Kurdistan’s share amounts to around 17 percent of overall state expenditure. The loss of that revenue could be crippling, unless the KRG, which the federal government accuses of acting illegally, can generate enough income from oil sales to […]

NOC travels to Turkey to hamper KRG exports

21 Jan 2014   Iraq, Kurdistan

As senior officials from Iraq’s federal and Kurdistan region governments negotiate a way out of a budget and export dispute impasse, the state-run North Oil Company (NOC) is exploring ways in Turkey to prevent autonomous Kurdish crude exports and seeking answers for alleged Turkish obstruction to the NOC’s work at Ceyhan.A delegation from the NOC, led by Director General Sameer Salman, was due to travel to Turkey on Jan. 18 to outline a complaint of alleged Turkish sovereign oil meddling, …

Iraq to sue Turkey, blacklist traders over Kurdish crude sales

18 Jan 2014   Kurdistan

Iraq’s oil minister said Friday that the country has started legal action against Turkey as part of the ongoing dispute over the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region’s independent oil exports. “The Oil Ministry has taken the necessary procedures by asking the legal parties in Baghdad and Ankara to start the legal process to conduct a lawsuit against the Turkish government because it allows the [Kurdistan] region to pump oil through the export pipeline without the approval of the central government,” Abdul Karim Luaibi said Friday, according to a statement given to Platts by the Oil Ministry. Over the past year, the Kurdistan Regional Government has built a 300,000 b/d pipeline within its northern Iraq territory and connected it to the 40-inch-diameter leg of the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline. Under a series of oil and gas export agreements signed between Erbil and Ankara late November, crude exports have […]

Genel Energy says Kurdish oil exports imminent

16 Jan 2014   Kurdistan

 Genel Energy, led by former BP boss Tony Hayward , said Wednesday it expects oil from a pipeline in the Kurdish north of Iraq to be exported from Turkey soon. Genel said commissioning of independent pipeline infrastructure in the Kurdish north of Iraq is ongoing and “exports [are] expected to commence in the near future.” The Kurdistan Regional Government has already sent oil to a storage facility at the Turkish port of Ceyhan and Genel said deliveries should ramp up throughout 2014. Hayward said an energy agreement between the KRG and Turkey, coupled with the completion of the pipeline’s infrastructure, should lead to a rise in oil exports from his company’s Taq Taq and Tawke oil field in the Kurdish north. Genel said Taq Taq produced an average 77,000 barrels of oil per day and Tawke produced an average 39,000 barrels per day last […]

Iraq: Maliki threatens Kurds if they export oil to Turkey

16 Jan 2014   Iraq, Kurdistan

As if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki didn’t have enough problems battling city-grabbing al-Qaida insurgents in western Iraq, his simmering faceoff with independence-minded Kurds in the north over their drive to export oil to neighboring Turkey looks like it’s about to boil over as well. The Kurdistan Regional Government, which runs the land-locked, semiautonomous Kurdish enclave that borders Turkey, says it started pumping crude from its oil fields directly to Turkey through a newly constructed pipeline to the export terminal at Ceyhan on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast in early January. That openly defied Baghdad, which has branded the operation bypassing the state oil export network as illegal. The only other export outlet for the Kurds is to the south through the Persian Gulf, but Baghdad controls the export terminals there. Maliki insists the central government has sole authority over Iraq’s massive energy resources, and declared the […]

Iraq threatens legal action over Kurdish oil sales

13 Jan 2014   Iraq, Kurdistan

Iraq’s Oil Ministry threatened legal action against entities that receive oil from the northern Kurdish region, singling out a deal made with Turkey. The Turkish seaport of Ceyhan is set to receive the first oil from the Kurdish region of Iraq this month and the ministry said Sunday the move “is an avowed violation of the Iraqi constitution.” The Kurdistan Regional Government and the central government in Iraq are at odds over who controls what aspects of the country’s oil sector, The central government took aim at its Turkish counterparts in particular, saying the oil sale would violate the spirit of regional agreements not to export crude oil from Iraq without the government’s consent, the Voices of Iraq news agency reported.. The Kurdish government said last week it was inviting “reputable and financially capable companies” to register for crude oil sales. The first parcel […]

Kurdistan to Sell Oil Via Pipeline to Turkey in January

9 Jan 2014   Kurdistan

The autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan said Wednesday it plans to sell the first two million barrels of oil exported through its controversial new pipeline to Turkey at the end of the month. In a statement posted on Kurdistan Regional Government’s website, it said prospective buyers would be able to lift the oil shipments from the Turkish port of Ceyhan under arrangements similar to those used by the Iraq State Oil Marketing Organization. The prospect of independent exports from Kurdistan to Turkey has infuriated Baghdad, which claims it has sole authority to market Iraqi oil. Baghdad’s refusal to approve an oil-supply deal between Kurdistan and Turkey announced in December delayed the start of flows through the pipeline until this month. Kurdistan already sends some oil to Turkey on trucks, but the pipeline will allow it to rapidly increase these volumes. Kurdistan says it expects exports to increase to four […]

ExxonMobil rig up at al-Qush, drilling at Pirmam

9 Jan 2014   Kurdistan

ExxonMobil rig up at al-Qush, drilling at Pirmam ExxonMobil has spudded at the Pirmam block in Erbil province and has erected a rig in preparation for drilling at the al-Qush block in Ninewa province, breaking ground for the first time in the super major’s six-block deal with the autonomous Kurdistan region.Visits to the areas near both drilling sites show Exxon has mobilized Weatherford rig 888 to al-Qush, though drilling has not started, and Weatherford rig 887 to Pirmam, at the well called Maseif-1.”Drilling operations in the region…

KRG says independent tanker loadings to begin

9 Jan 2014   Kurdistan

KRG says independent tanker loadings to begin The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has announced that it will market crude from oil fields under its control sent autonomously of Iraq’s central government to the Turkish port of Ceyhan in a pipeline it claims as its own, with the first shipment up for sale before the end of January.On the KRG’s website late on Jan. 8, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) gave “public notice of the commencement of the sale of its first shipment of crude oil exported via Kurdistan Region’s new…

For Iraq’s Kurds, Only Baghdad Foils Energy Windfall

23 Dec 2013   Kurdistan

Just two decades ago, Erbil was a dangerous town, attacked on one side by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and on the other by warring Kurdish tribes. Today, this vibrant capital of Kurdistan, a semi- autonomous region in Iraq, is peaceful as expectations of an energy windfall are creating a boom and helping to refashion a traditional society and an ancient landscape. Hoteliers including Hilton and Kempinski are erecting buildings that now soar above the city’s 7,000-year-old Citadel. New shopping malls compete with the medieval bazaar. And Erbil’s historic downtown is ringed by luxury villas, residential towers and commercial offices, driven by a 20-fold surge in property prices since U.S. forces invaded Iraq in 2003. “A decade ago, Erbil was more like a big village,” said Tahir Osman, deputy governor of Erbil Province who helped forge an urban development plan that calls for a Grand-Prix race track. “My dream […]

Iraqi Kurds pump oil to Turkey amid fears of new clash

20 Dec 2013   Kurdistan

 Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish enclave has reportedly started pumping oil direct to neighboring Turkey via a new pipeline even though Baghdad has not approved the landmark deal between the Kurds and Ankara, raising concerns of a new clash with Baghdad. But the Financial Times said Baghdad is expected to endorse the pipeline deal in negotiations now under way with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil and the Turkish government, a project that will have important geopolitical consequences for the region. The Iraq Oil Report, a website that monitors Iraq’s energy industry, reported the oil flow which began a week ago is primarily to test the pipeline. But it stressed this is “a significant step toward Kurdistan’s first independent pipeline exports.” The Financial Times said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ‘s government will likely secure 83 percent of revenues generated by KRG exports with the […]

Oil from Kurdistan pipeline enters Turkey

14 Dec 2013   Kurdistan

Oil from Kurdistan pipeline enters Turkey Oil has begun to flow into Turkey through a new pipeline from Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region – a significant step toward Kurdistan’s first independent pipeline exports.The oil flow is part of the final stage of pipeline testing, according to an industry official and a senior Turkish official. Contrary to other media reports, the crude is not yet being marketed or sold: technically, pipeline exports have not yet begun.Still, Kurdistan’s pumping of crude into Turkish-controlled pipel… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Showdown on Iraqi Kurds’ oil, gas is looming

12 Dec 2013   Kurdistan

The thorny dispute over Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil riches is likely to heat up in the weeks ahead, aggravating tensions in a flashpoint region at a time when al-Qaida bombers are wreaking havoc across the country spurred by the civil war raging in next-door Syria. The semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government in the Kurdish enclave that spans three provinces in northern Iraq wants to export its oil and natural gas to neighboring Turkey through pipelines to be built by Ankara. Iraq’s federal government in Baghdad refuses to allow that and insists that the oil in question belongs to the state, and if it’s shipped north to Turkey should flow through state-controlled pipelines running from the Kirkuk oil fields to Turkey’s Mediterranean export terminal at Ceyhan. A few weeks ago, it looked like the KRG, headquartered in the city of Erbil, and Ankara had after months […]

Kurdistan pipeline exports imminent despite Baghdad outcry

5 Dec 2013   Kurdistan

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz (L) and Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani attend the opening of the CWC Kurdistan-Iraq Oil and Gas conference in Erbil on Dec. 2, 2013. (RAWAZ TAHIR/Iraq Oil Report/Metrography) As Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region continues to pump oil into its new export pipeline to Turkey, leaders in Erbil and Ankara have outlined a revenue-handling mechanism that appears to allow their burgeoning energy cooperation to move forward without Baghdad’s approval.The impending exports and sales threaten to undermine Baghdad’s top oil policymakers, who have long argued that all exports must be conducted under central government authority – a position they have reiterated forcefully … This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Iraq Controls Kurdish Oil Exports Under New Accord, Luaibi Says

4 Dec 2013   Iraq, Kurdistan, Turkey

Iraq ’s self-ruling Kurds agreed to let the central government in Baghdad control the amount and quality of crude they export as well as manage revenue from its sale, Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said. The Kurdistan Regional Government will export oil using a metering system operated by the Oil Ministry in Baghdad, Luaibi told a news conference yesterday in Vienna. The Kurds also agreed to put money earned from the sale of oil from Kurdish fields into a UN-administered account for Iraq’s earnings from crude, he said. The agreement may herald an end to years of confrontation between Iraq’s Kurds and the central government. It may lead to a formal accord this month under which Kurdish authorities resume oil shipments via Iraq’s government-run export pipeline to neighboring Turkey , Luaibi said. The KRG halted the flow last December in a dispute with the central government over how […]

Politics and pipelines in 2014: a pivotal year for Kurdistan’s oil sector

3 Dec 2013   Kurdistan

For years, one troubling question has cast a long shadow over Kurdistan’s oil and gas sector: how will foreign companies monetize their investments? The answer is now in sight, and it lies in the events of 2014.The obstacles to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) oil development have always been primarily political. Iraq’s central government claims primary authority over the oil sector, including contracting, field management, and exports, and it has enforced its prerogatives la…

Kurds’ Oil Deals With Turkey Raise Fears of Fissures in Iraq

3 Dec 2013   Kurdistan

The sharp, dry mountains that run between Turkey and Iraq have long marked a front line in the battle between the Turkish government and Kurdish separatists where cross-border attacks took many lives on both sides.

Kurds Forge a Risky Oil Deal With Turkey

3 Dec 2013   Kurdistan

The autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan said it agreed to supply Turkey with oil through a pipeline in a landmark deal that raised tensions with Baghdad, which fears the move could spark independence drives by other Iraqi governorates. But the Monday announcement here, in the region’s capital, was tempered by Baghdad’s refusal to approve the deal, which it considers illegal. As a result, Kurdish officials didn’t begin shipping pipeline oil, as observers had expected, and Turkey pledged to organize trilateral talks between Erbil, Baghdad and Ankara to resolve the issue. The tensions go to the heart of the disagreement between Kurdistan, a relatively prosperous and stable province, and Baghdad, where sectarian violence has soared in recent months as the central government strives to maintain control over restless regions. Iraq’s ties with Turkey have also frayed, as Shiite Muslim-led Baghdad accused Ankara of meddling in its internal affairs by […]

Turkey, Kurdistan cement massive energy deal

30 Nov 2013   Kurdistan, Turkey

Turkey has signed multiple agreements that flesh out its energy alliance with Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, despite last-ditch efforts by Baghdad and Washington to forestall the deal.In a Nov. 27 meeting in Ankara between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, the two sides signed documents to govern export pipelines, the sale of gas, and the handling of revenue, according to two people involved in the negot… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .

Exclusive: Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan ink landmark energy contracts

30 Nov 2013   Kurdistan, Turkey

Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan signed a multi-billion-dollar energy package this week that will help transform the semi-autonomous region into an oil and gas powerhouse but infuriate the central government in Baghdad. The move follows months of negotiations and was learned from sources close to the deal on Friday after being kept secret. Baghdad says any independent Kurdish oil exports are illegal and that it has the sole authority to manage Iraqi oil. For energy-hungry Turkey, dependent on imports for almost all of its needs, exploiting Iraqi Kurdistan’s rich hydrocarbon resources will help diversify its energy supplies and reduce the country’s ballooning $60 billion energy bill. Ankara’s close partnership with Iraqi Kurds is historic and to many, marks the beginning of a new era, given the decades-long fight with Kurdish militants on Turkish soil that has claimed more than 40,000 lives. The deal came in the early […]

Besieged town in disputed territories turns to Kurds for security

27 Nov 2013   Kurdistan

Besieged town in disputed territories turns to Kurds for security Exhausted by relentless bombings and exasperated by the federal government’s inability to provide security, Tuz Khurmatu, one of the most fractious towns in Iraq’s disputed territories, has voted to come under the protection of Kurdish Peshmerga security forces.Key Kurdish leaders indicated their intention to honor the request, despite the risk of raising tensions with authorities in Baghdad and Salahaddin province, who oppose the move.”We will send Peshmerga forces to Tuz if the local c…

Kurdistan sets stage for independent exports

19 Nov 2013   Kurdistan

Kurdistan sets stage for independent exports As Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region nears completion of its direct oil export pipeline to Turkey, the government has finished laying a legal foundation that could, in effect, give it economic independence from Baghdad.The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs said Monday that Iraq’s federal government owes $384.7 billion in reparations for acts committed against the country’s Kurdish population.”This is one of the rights of the Kurds,” said Sabah A… This content is for registered users. Please login to continue. If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial .