AK News reported that the Oil Ministry threatened the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over its new natural gas deal with Germany’s RWE. As reported before, in August 2010 Kurdish authorities announced that they had signed a preliminary agreement with RWE to build a gas pipeline and distribution network in Kurdistan. The Kurds are hoping that this will be the first step to them joining the Nabucco gas pipeline that will be connected to Turkey and Europe. The Oil Ministry denounced the agreement, claiming that all oil and gas sales had to be approved by them. In retaliation, the Ministry also threatened to cut 50% of its fuel deliveries to the KRG. The Kurds however, have said that no stoppage has occurred so far.
The regional and central governments have been arguing over who has the authority to exploit the country’s natural resources since the 2005 constitution was passed. Only once in mid-2009 did the two compromise, which allowed the KRG to export its oil, but that deal broke down before the end of the year. Now the two sides are back to bickering, making demands, and threatening each other, which will only continue the on-going deadlock over petroleum and natural gas.
AK News, “Officials say no fuel crisis yet in Kurdistan,” 9/2/10
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