By Simon Kent.
Two recent reports point to the possibility of an imminent oil deal between Baghdad and Erbil over revenues and exports, following the breakdown of the fourth revenue and exports deal in early 2015.
In an interview with Kurdish publication Rudaw, KRG spokesman Safeen Dizayee (pictured) noted that there was a positive view of new Iraqi Minister of Oil Jabar Ali al Luaibi,
“We are ready for talks and express our gratitude towards the new oil minister. If there is a strong will in Baghdad for negotiations, of course we are ready to meet. But for us the issue is not personal, as we had the same problems with former oil minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, who was even a great friend of the Kurds.”
At the same time, Iraq Oil Report quoted un-named officials who said that Iraq’s North Oil Company were now pumping oil into Kurdish export infrastructure.
Such a deal may be welcome to both Baghdad and Erbil, who are straining to consolidate expenditure following the oil price collapses and facing domestic public unrest. But at the same time, Kurdish President Barzani is touting Kurdish independence, and the issue of independent Kurdish exports in Baghdad is extremely controversial for some politicians.