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With a prime minister appointed and several key portfolios filled (including oil minister), Iraq’s new government can now focus on key outstanding issues hindering economic and energy sector development ( MEES, 26 October ).
Chief among these issues is mending ties with Erbil. Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban and Prime Minister (and former oil minister) Adil Abd al-Mahdi will look to hit the reset button on relations with the Kurds, and a breakthrough could see federal Iraq gain access to the KRG’s 700,000 b/d export pipeline that runs from Kirkuk to Fishkabur, where it taps into Turkey’s pipeline to Ceyhan (see map). This would cure a massive headache for Iraqi oil officials who are sitting on at least 150,000 b/d of stuck-in crude at Kirkuk. (CONTINUED - 845 WORDS)