Iraq’s Oil Minister Ihsan Ismaael has been true to the promise he made last month (MEES, 13 May) to begin implementing the Iraqi Supreme Court’s controversial February decision that Kurdistan’s independent oil sector is unconstitutional (MEES, 18 February).

The ruling reignited an old - but purposefully ignored - decade-long legal conflict between Baghdad and Erbil amid politically turbulent times for Iraq. Coming more than seven months on from the October 2021 parliamentary elections, and with political factions nowhere near forming a new government (MEES, 15 October 2021), the ruling has placed IOCs operating in the semi-autonomous region, their financiers and Kurdistan’s future energy ambitions under the mercy of the country’s politics. (CONTINUED - 2243 WORDS)