In a recent interview on EU's energy security with World Security Network Foundation (WSN), former Austrian Chancellor Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel (pictured) said that Europe should also diversify sources of energy supply by looking, for instance, to the Kurdish Region of Iraq.
Europe is heavily dependent on Russia for its energy supply, especially natural gas, which was described by Schüssel as “a reliable and serious partner, but also sometimes a tough partner”.
Kurdistan has been described as a major supplier of natural energy, but instability in Iraq and disputes between the regional and federal government could make it difficult for supplies from the region to reach Europe.
Currently, Kurdistan has a capacity of 100,000 bpd and is expected to develop its fields to increase the output to 200,000, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Minister of Natural Resource, Ashti Hawrami, according to AKnews.
Based on Hawrami's statement, the Iraqi government has included a provision in the 2011 budget of Iraq binding the KRG to exporting 150,000 bpd or the region's 17% share in the general budget will be cut accordingly. Kurds have rejected the bill.
Europe needs additional pipelines and alternative energy sources. The Kurdish part of Iraq may become alternative partner of Europe, explained Dr. Schüssel.