The closure of Kurdistan’s crude oil export pipeline to Turkey’s Ceyhan terminal has passed an inauspicious milestone. As dawn broke on 25 April the shut-in entered its second month, despite an interim agreement to restart flows having been reached on 4 April (MEES, 7 April). The ongoing delay spells economic pain for the cluster of IOCs operating in the region as well as the KRG itself, which MEES estimates has now lost around $875mn through the halt of approximately 400,000 b/d of crude oil exports.

For most of the firms extracting oil and gas from Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, the region is their core, if not only, source of revenue. But operating in Kurdistan’s legally-ambiguous upstream sector has always been a perilous business beset by periodic bouts of payment uncertainty and political risk. Even when IOC revenues were driven to record levels by high oil prices in 2022, the revenues would have been higher still had it not been for renewed payment delays (MEES, 3 February). (CONTINUED - 1568 WORDS)