Kurds and Crude Iraqi Oil Intrigue Off the Coast of Texas
A Texas judge ordered the seizure of Iraqi Kurdistan crude from a tanker positioned off the coast of Galveston today, dealing a blow to the KRG’s independence ambitions.
What You Need To Know About Kurdish Oil Ambitions
For more than a month, Iraqi Kurdistan has been piping oil across its northern border to Turkey, against the wishes of the central Iraqi government. Kurdish crude is bringing long-simmering tensions between Baghdad and Irbil to a head, and what happens next will affect Turkish-Iraqi relations for years to come.
Baghdad Fumes as Kurds Ship Oil
A few weeks ago, Iraqi Kurdistan began piping oil north to its border with Turkey, connecting Iraqi oil fields with Turkey’s fairly extensive pipeline network for the first time. That didn’t go over well in Baghdad, where officials are worried that the region’s oil exports to Turkey will make it more economically and politically independent from the central Iraqi government. Irbil has done little to quell those fears, announcing that it will sell its first blocks of oil through its own regional oil marketing association, rather than the Iraqi state equivalent.
Iraqi Kurds Pipe Oil to Turkey
Oil began flowing from fields in Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey over the weekend. The recently completed pipeline connects fields in Northern Iraq with Turkey’s pipeline network for the first time, and is being welcomed by both Ibril and Ankara alike, which are both happy to see less oil transported by costlier trucks. But while Turkey and the KRG both stand to benefit from an increasingly robust pipeline network, Baghdad is understandably alarmed by the development.