On September 20, 2010 AK News reported that Iraq and Turkey had signed an agreement that would prevent the Kurds from exporting natural gas to Europe. According to the article Istanbul said they would not allow any Kurdish gas sales through its territory without Baghdad’s approval. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) immediately condemned the announcement.
The Iraq-Turkey deal came as a result of the KRG signing a gas pipeline and distribution network contract with Germany’s RWE at the end of August. The Kurds are hoping that it will allow them to join the Nabucco project, which is to export gas from the Middle East to Turkey and Europe. The Oil Ministry threatened to cut half of its fuel deliveries to the region in retaliation. It has now gone a step further by trying to squash any Kurdish aspirations to sell its gas independent of the central government by blocking their exports to Turkey.
The dispute arises from an argument over who has the authority to sign natural resource deals, Baghdad or the KRG. This has led to a war of words between the two, and over a dozen contracts being signed by both sides. This latest tit for tat over natural gas is just the latest episode of this on going disagreement.
Ahmed, Hevidar, “Iraq and Turkey agree to prevent future KRG gas exports,” AK News, 9/20/10