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)