Last year should have been a return to the boom times for Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil sector as it capitalized on the surge in oil prices. But dwindling oil production and an unprecedented squeeze from Baghdad meant that the gains were much more modest than Erbil would have desired.

Output dropped by 10,000 b/d to a four year low of 435,000 b/d as new greenfield developments disappointed (see chart 1 & MEES, 20 January). After bottoming out at 421,000 b/d in Q3, output did at least edge back up to 437,000 b/d in Q4, but any expectations of a rebound must be tempered by the warning from IOCs that they will curb investment if payment delays are not resolved (MEES, 3 February). (CONTINUED - 735 WORDS)