Iraqi Kurdistan Pushes Limits on Oil, Autonomy

With Kurds asserting themselves throughout the Middle East, Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region has stepped up its profile on the world’s oil scene.

A series of recent petroleum deals signals a direct challenge to Baghdad’s claim of total control over the country’s oil exports and a possible step by the Kurds toward their longstanding aspirations for increased autonomy, or outright independence.

​​

​​Within the last few months, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, has begun construction on a major international oil and gas pipeline project with neighboring Turkey that would allow the Kurds direct access to world markets via the Mediterranean.

The KRG has also expanded exploration deals with foreign oil majors and boosted a growing crude-for-products trade with Turkish companies.

The moves reveal that Iraqi Kurds want to make their own economic choices.

Copyright © 2012 VOA