The PoliTics of Kurdish crude
he entry of ExxonMobil into the Kurdish oil market has sent shock
waves throughout Iraq’s energy sector and its political classes.
The presence of one of the world’s largest international oil companies (IOCs) in
the Kurdistan Region not only challenges central government authority but gives the
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) greater leverage in developing its own oil
market. More super-major IOCs are likely to follow, which will further enhance the
recognition and financial rewards for the KRG and its business partners.
Still, is the Exxon deal really a game changer? The IOC may be considered “too
big to fail,” but can it alter the deep-rooted tensions between Baghdad and Arbil over
territory and national identity? At the crux of these disputes are different views
of power distribution in the Iraqi state and control over the country’s resources.
Baghdad seeks greater authority than the enumerated powers given to it in the 2005
constitution, a document essentially written by the Kurds and some Shias, while the
KRG wants as much autonomy as possible. Power struggles have spilled…to download http://www.ndu.edu/inss/docuploaded/Natali%20MEP%20FINAL.pdf