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Iraq and Kurdistan reach oil deal amid ISIS security concerns

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Oilfield Technology,

Amid Conflict with ISIS, the Iraqi government agreed on the 2nd of December to an oil export deal with the northern region of Kurdistan, ending a simmering impasse over oil. “This agreement represents a victory for all Iraqis,” said Masoud Haidar, a Kurdish member of the parliament in Baghdad. “There are no losers in this agreement. All are winners.”

The United States have pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Shiite politician who took office in September, to build bridges to his country’s Kurdish and Sunni population and support the war against Islamic State militants. The Kurdish security forces, the Peshmerga, are close allies of the Pentagon in the fight against Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL.

The deal also calls for the Iraqi defence ministry to give a direct monthly payment to Peshmerga to train and arm them in their fight against Islamic State, said Kawa Mahmoud Mawloud, a Kurdish member of the oil and gas committee in parliament. Still, governance in Baghdad has long been paralysed by divisions among Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs, Kurds and a many smaller religious and ethnic groups.

Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, said the agreement is in line with existing constitutional mandates and gives all Iraqis a chance to benefit from the country’s vast hydrocarbon reserves. “This agreement will further strengthen both Iraq’s federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government as they work together to defeat the Islamic State.”

Under the terms of the agreement, around 250,000 boe/d are permissible for exports, while another 300,000 boe/d will come from the disputed northern province of Kirkuk. Both sides will export their oil through the federal State Oil Marketing Organisation, while the semiautonomous Kurdish government receives 17% of national oil revenues.

Edited from various sources by Joe Green

Sources: Neurope, LA Times.

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