KRG Pipeline Outage An Explosive Development

A cessation of piped oil exports from Iraqi Kurdistan has inflicted more economic woes on the KRG’s finances. The pipeline, out of action since 16 February, links the KRG’s oil fields to Turkey’s export terminal in Ceyhan and is the region’s economic lifeline since budget disbursements from Baghdad halted entirely in July 2015.

The KRG Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) released a statement on 18 February saying that the outage was due to “attacks on the export pipeline near Urfa in Turkey.” Suspicion swiftly fell on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which had recently threatened to disrupt planned-KRG gas exports to Turkey, slated to begin by 2019. The PKK previously attacked the pipeline in July 2015, but apologized and claimed it had not deliberately targeted Kurdish infrastructure. The group denies responsibility for the current outage and no clear cause has been identified. (CONTINUED - 404 WORDS)