CWC’s 4th Kurdistan-Iraq Oil and Gas Conference


Genel President Mehmet Sepil would later note that rising Kurdish production was in fact a positive development to regional relations and security, not only in with the much vaunted thaw in Turkey--Iraqi Kurdish relations but also noting that relations with Baghdad could benefit from this thaw.


This was a point re-affirmed by veteran German politician and academic Friedbert Pfluger, who spoke eloquently of how shared geopolitical energy interests promote prosperity and peace, comparing the current deal to the Cold War era West German-Soviet energy cooperation.


Other industry leaders also highlighted that the region has vastly more potential, and several key IOC figureheads I spoke to re-affirmed this to me at the conference. As an example, Chevron VP for Europe, MENA and Eurasia Ian Mcdonald noted that while lower oil prices were a challenge, his organization take a “decades long” view.


This long game view was perhaps best described by DNO chairman Bijan Mossavar Rahmani who described at length the success story of his company in the Kurdish region from humble beginnings in 2005 to Tawke’s 100 million barrel output in 7 years. Likewise, Gulf Keystone CEO John Gerstenlauer told an epic story of perseverance overcoming technical and logistical challenges. Mehmet Sepil also outlined some of the staggering ambition in Genel’s plans, in particular the coming drive to exploit the region’s 11 trillion cubic feet of gas.

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