Iraqi state marketer SOMO is threatening to sue the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for allowing independent crude oil sales by Anglo-Turkish oil firm Genel Energy to Turkey since last month. Genel’s trucking of up to 20,000 b/d was green lighted by the Kurds after the cessation of KRG crude exports via SOMO following a payment dispute (MEES, 21 December 2012). The Genel trucking operation from its Taq Taq field “stopped last week, but this is just a result of a temporary administrative measure, not at all related to the SOMO threat, which is irrelevant,” one Kurdish oil source told MEES on 17 January.

The same day the KRG’s website criticized ministry talks with BP regarding the 255,000 b/d Kirkuk field, which lies in disputed territories (MEES, 11 January). Rising KRG/Baghdad tensions come amid a wider Iraqi political crisis, which has seen hundreds of thousands of largely Sunni Iraqis take to the streets to protest what they claim is dictatorial behavior on the part of Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki. (CONTINUED - 290 WORDS)