The Kurdish Coalition has made their oil deals and exports a major demand in backing any new Iraqi government. In 2009 Kurdistan was allowed to sell their petroleum abroad for a short period of time before it got into a new dispute with Baghdad over who would pay the foreign companies pumping the oil. It’s now expected that whenever Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki puts together a ruling coalition, and all the ministries are assigned to the major parties that a new agreement between the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and the central authorities will be worked out. The technocrats at the Oil and Finance Ministries are expecting the same as they have recently included 100,000 barrels a day in Kurdish exports as part of their estimates for Iraq’s income in the 2011 budget.
The KRG has signed contracts with 30 foreign companies to develop its oil industry. They are all hoping that they can eventually shift from exploring for oil to actually pumping it. Currently only two fields, Taq Taq in Irbil and Tawke in Dohuk, are producing. Baghdad has declared all of the Kurdish petroleum deals illegal because they did not go through the Oil Ministry. The new government may break this deadlock and come to a modus operandi with the Kurds that will make all the parties involved happy.
Aswat al-Iraq, “Govt. sets barrel price at $73 in 2011 budget,” 11/20/11
Carlisle, Tamsin, “Two steps forward, one step back for Iraqi oil ministry,” The National, 11/19/10
DeYoung, Karen, “As Iraqis forged agreement, U.S. remained influential, administration says,” Washington Post, 11/13/10