KRG Operators Return But Baghdad Stand-Off Continues

Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) says the majority of foreign oil companies have resumed normal operations in the autonomous region after Kurdish Peshmerga fighters pushed jihadi fighters out of border areas. Yet the anticipated rise in oil production is far from guaranteed. Baghdad has yet to budge from its opposition to independent oil exports or take steps to resolve the dispute with Erbil over revenue sharing. With no access to federal funds, the KRG is still being choked of cash in its hour of need.

A statement issued on the KRG’s official website says Peshmerga forces have reclaimed large areas from the so-called Islamic State (IS) with the help of the international coalition. The IS advance toward Erbil at the end of July and August had a direct impact on the activities of foreign oil companies, it says. Foreign operators and service firms evacuated non-essential staff but the majority including UK independent Gulf Keystone (see box) have now returned. (CONTINUED - 848 WORDS)