Oil production in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is being held back, amid rising tension between Iraq’s Kurds and Baghdad, which has seen Irbil cut contributions to Iraq’s northern exports. The curtailment, if prolonged, could further delay development of the KRG oil sector with the region’s smaller investors likely to be disproportionately impacted by any postponement to plans.

The Baghdad-Irbil oil dispute is understandably dominating investor concerns. For a group of the region’s oil investors approaching key investment decisions, the next year will be pivotal for their projects’ success. These include: Anglo-Turkish firm Genel Energy, looking to double capacity at Taq Taq to 200,000 b/d, Norway’s DNO which is looking to similarly expand at its Tawke field to around 150,000 b/d, Kurdish firm Kar which hopes to boost capacity at its 100,000 b/d Khurmala Dome by 50,000 b/d and London-listed independent Gulf Keystone, which plans debut output of 60,000 b/d by end-year at its giant Shaikan discovery. But Iraqi politics are by no means the only challenge facing the region’s explorers. (CONTINUED - 1397 WORDS)