As the closure of Iraq’s northern crude oil export pipeline to Turkey ticked past the one-year mark (MEES, 22 March), the anniversary was marked by a dispute between IOCs operating in Kurdistan and Baghdad exploding into the public domain. IOCs represented by the Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (Apikur) have been lobbying the US government to apply pressure on Baghdad to approve their existing commercial terms, but Baghdad feels their approach has crossed a line.

Having largely remained silent in public on its negotiations with the IOCs, Iraq’s Oil Ministry released an 11-point press release on 25 March, one year-on from the pipeline closure. The statement accuses Apikur of “blatant interference in Iraqi domestic and foreign sovereign affairs that have nothing to do with the work of [oil] companies,” behavior that is “inconsistent with principles of goodwill and basics of foreign investment.” (CONTINUED - 1205 WORDS)