By Padraig O’Hannelly.
A year after the withdrawal of US troops, the terrorist attacks in Iraq continue, and the tensions between central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government continue to rise.
In the year ahead, we can expect to see further developments in the ongoing battle between Erbil and Baghdad over control of oil contracts and revenues, with a high likelihood that a deal will soon be announced between the KRG and Turkey to build a new pipeline that would be independent of the Ministry of Oil.
Tony Hayward, President and CEO of Genel Energy, has said many times that a “wall of oil” from Kurdistan will find its way to the market with or without an agreement between North and South, and that was not merely a display of bravado.
Some say a lot will depend on how Baghdad reacts, especially with regard to the oil companies tied to relatively unattractive service contracts in the South, while others no longer consider Baghdad to be relevant to the story.
How do you see this playing out? We’d welcome your opinions in the comment box below.