The first eight months of 2018 have seen a much-needed return of upstream activity in the KRG, helping salve the October 2017 loss of Kirkuk output to the Federal government. MEES puts current output at around 380,000 b/d (see chart 1) and expects the region to top 400,000 b/d before the year is out.

Such an outcome seemed virtually impossible during the dark days following Baghdad’s military operation to reclaim Kirkuk, when some 280,000 b/d production was instantly lost (MEES, 20 October 2017). Even as recently as February, MEES expected 2018 output to average just 330,000 b/d (MEES, 2 February). (CONTINUED - 1594 WORDS)