Northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is struggling. The regional parliament failed to convene before the expiry of President Masoud Barzani’s term on 20 August, leaving the semi-autonomous region in constitutional limbo. The political impasse between the three main Kurdish parties and persistent theft of oil from the export pipeline through Turkey has again left Erbil in dire financial straits, even as oil production from its biggest field, DNO-operated Tawke, rose to new highs (see p18).

The KRG’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) issued a statement on 18 August complaining that the Iraq-Turkey pipeline it relies on for some 600,000 b/d of oil exports through Ceyhan has been punctured repeatedly by thieves on the Turkish side of the border. This, the MNR says, has interrupted flows through the pipeline and caused revenue losses to the KRG of $251mn. An attack on the pipeline in late July, claimed by a Kurdish group affiliated with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) takes the total losses suffered by the KRG for the period 1 July to 17 August to $501mn, the MNR says. (CONTINUED - 1218 WORDS)