Cap in Hand: Kurdish Will Return to Baghdad to Negotiate Oil Exports
Iraqi Kurdistan’s plan to export oil independently does not seem to be working. Sources say politicians will be heading back to Baghdad soon to hammer out a new deal. But nobody seems to think it will succeed.
Just a few days ago it seemed that the financial oil-for-budget standoff between Baghdad and the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan had reached a conclusion: Iraq’s oil sales had slumped and the Iraqi Kurdish looked to be going it alone, exporting oil produced within their region and keeping the funds from sales.
At the beginning of the year the country’s Kurdish region had been trying to keep up their end of a bargain – they export their oil and send the proceeds to Baghdad and in return, Baghdad promised the region’s authorities 17 percent of the national budget.
Although there have been conflicting reports about who sent what and when, what was clear was that neither party had kept up their side of the deal exactly.
And by October, there was no Kurdish oil included in federal Iraq’s oil exports. The Iraqi Kurdish government justified their independent sales by saying that, if Baghdad didn’t pay them their share of the national budget, then they needed to look out for themselves.
And to many observers it seemed as though Iraqi Kurdistan was readying for some version of economic independence.
However that doesn’t seem to be the case. Recently Safeen Dizayee, spokesperson for the government of Iraqi Kurdistan, announced that a senior delegation would soon be visiting Baghdad to discuss controversial issues related to oil and the federal budget.