October 3, 2007


Kurds in Iraq strike 4 new oil deals, angering Baghdad (Richard A. Oppel Jr., October 3, 2007, International Herald Tribune)

Worsening a deep divide with Iraqi leaders, the Kurdish regional government has struck four new oil exploration deals over the strong objections of the Baghdad central government. The deals are the latest effort by the Kurds to jump-start their oil industry as national oil legislation languishes in Parliament.

The new deals follow an agreement last month between the Kurds and Hunt Oil Co. of Dallas that was criticized as illegal by the Iraqi oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani. Kurdish officials, who have said they want to be producing at least one million barrels of new oil daily within five years, say all the deals are consistent with the Iraqi Constitution.

But the deals have aggravated tensions with the Arabs who dominate the national government, calling into question whether Iraqi politicians will ever be able to work out differences on how to develop the huge petroleum reserves.

Why should Kurdistan wait out the Arab squabbles?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 3, 2007 6:22 PM

Why indeed? We're looking forward to a trip there as soon as it's safe. Probably lots of others would to join us.

Posted by: erp at October 4, 2007 12:01 PM