News & Events

ARTICLE: The Baghdad-Kurdistan deal to resume oil exports is promising but incomplete

By Zaid Al-Ali,  April 15, 2023

THE NATIONAL: Iraq’s federal system, and its oil and gas sector, have been beset by tensions and failed policies on all sides for the past 20 years. Those failures have caused significant financial losses and unnecessary suffering. Recently, that dynamic was upended by a number of landmark decisions that could finally help to build momentum towards a period of greater stability and prosperity. It is important to remember, however, that just because an opportunity exists does not mean that it will be seized upon, or that the right lessons will be learned from this saga.

The Kurdistan Regional Government has been working to develop its own independent oil policy for the past two decades, mainly by contracting with international oil companies directly and marketing its oil without co-ordinating with Baghdad. The KRG’s oil sector grew considerably, reaching approximately 450,000 barrels a day.

The KRG has always maintained that its independent oil policy was legal under the 2005 Constitution, but Baghdad never agreed with that position. The latter deployed a number of tactics to challenge the KRG’s oil sector, including legal proceedings before various jurisdictions.



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