March 10, 2011

The effects of Baghdad politics on Kurdistani gas prospects

Sam WILKIN
Actuelles, mars 2011
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http://www.ifri.org/?page=detail-contribution&id=6468


This paper will examine the impact of internal Iraqi politics on Kurdistan‟s gas market. It will look first at the legal aspects of gas, particularly in the Constitution, and find that gas in Kurdistan and throughout Iraq is theoretically nationalised and inaccessible to outsiders. This is partially corroborated by the current Kurdistan oil situation (which is given identical treatment to gas in the Constitution), where the Baghdad government is refusing to recognise bilateral deals between the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) and investors, and is blocking exports. However, as will be shown, there are divisions within the government, and its policy is by no means set in stone. Moreover, the government is currently pursuing a more lenient national policy for gas than for oil, which should be considered cause for tentative optimism among investors in Kurdistani gas.


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