Baghdad, KRG Take First Step Toward Deal

Iraq’s Oil Ministry and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) struck a deal on 13 November after Baghdad agreed to release $500mn of federal funds to the cash-strapped Kurdish region in an apparent gesture of goodwill to pave the way for a more comprehensive agreement on oil sales. In return, the KRG has agreed to put 150,000 b/d of its crude oil production at the federal government’s disposal, a shift in policy that might prove decisive in efforts to break a stalemate between the two sides over revenue sharing.

The deal was struck in Erbil during a visit by Iraqi Oil Minister ‘Adil ‘Abd al-Mahdi for discussions with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and his deputy Qubad Talabani. Details are still sketchy and the agreement may yet falter given the extent of disagreement over a host of issues, but the deal nevertheless represents a significant move forward and signals a desire by both sides for compromise. (CONTINUED - 2408 WORDS)