Political tensions surrounding oil development between the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey on one hand and central government in Baghdad on the other, are ratcheting up to new levels, imperiling the exploration bonanza that has seen around 50 companies flood to invest in the exploration sector of Iraq’s Kurdish north.

Baghdad’s ban on oil companies investing in the region has failed to stem the flow of firms lining up to enter, with the last 18 months witnessing a shift from smaller independents to oil majors, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total and Gazprom. But the federal government’s continued determination to oppose Irbil’s oil policy and not pay investors’ costs is finally beginning to spook existing KRG producers or ones nearing investment decisions. (CONTINUED - 1404 WORDS)