July 15, 2014

When It Comes to Iraqi Kurdish Oil US Should BUY IT!

NPR reports this morning on the US and the Iraqi regime opposing the right of Iraqi Kurds to export oil directly via a pipeline through Turkey.

Kurdish security forces, the peshmerga, have taken over two major oil fields near Kirkuk, in northern Iraq. The fields have the potential to put billions of dollars into the coffers of the Kurdish regional government.

But there's a hitch: Even if the Kurdish government has control of the oil, it doesn't necessarily mean it can export it — thanks to the Baghdad government and the U.S.

On May 22, about 4 million barrels of crude oil surged through a pipeline running from the autonomous region in northern Iraq, which is controlled by Kurds, to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The crude was loaded into four tankers commissioned by the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG. One tanker, the United Leadership, sailed through the Mediterranean toward Morocco — where the first alleged buyer of the oil was, says Ben Lando, editor-in-chief of the Iraq Oil Report.

Related NPR Stories

Soldiers with the Kurdish peshmerga man an outpost near Kirkuk, a city they've sought to control during the chaos that has gripped Iraq.
The Two-Way
Kurdish Leaders Boycott Iraqi Government Meetings
Secretary of State John Kerry (second from left) arrives at Irbil International Airport with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft (fourth from left) on Tuesday. The president of Iraq's ethnic Kurdish region declared Tuesday that "we are facing a new reality and a new Iraq."
The Two-Way
Kerry Visits Kurds To Urge A United Iraq
A member of the Kurdish security forces stand guard atop a armored vehicle at Taza district, south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, Iraq, Friday, June 20, 2014.
Parallels
Iraq's Ethnic Kurds See Opportunity In Nation's Chaos
"But just as it was about to reach the port and unload, the Moroccan authorities refused entry and forced it back into international waters," Lando says. That's where the tanker remains, he says.

"This is because the Iraqi government and its international lawyers and the U.S. government pushed back and essentially claimed that this oil is stolen, it's smuggled, that it hasn't been exported with the authority of Baghdad and thus would be considered illegal," he says. "They convinced the Moroccan authorities not to 'play ball.' "

When asked about the move US officials said some crap like
The U.S. also opposes oil exports by the Kurds because it could undermine Iraq's unity, says State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

"Our position has long been that we don't support exports without the appropriate approval of the federal Iraqi government, and certainly we do have concerns about the impact of those continuing," she says.

The basis being that there are not personal mineral property rights in many of these countries. They are all held by the state and the US still sees the Malik regime Malaki as the legitimate holder of these rights in a unified Iraq.

The problem is that we are caught flat footed yet again. The reality on the ground is that there is no unified Iraq. ISIS controls much of Iraq and has an outlet for its Syrian and Iraqi oil through the Syrian regime via the Baathists in its ranks. ISIS will use its oil money to further its insurgency.

Now ISIS is not without problems. Its saddled with running a large portion of Iraq and Syria. Now taking that area and ruling it are two different things. The Kurds can make things hard on ISIS be keeping open another front. Leaving ISIS involved in battles on all sides of its little Caliphate. It will be very difficult for ISIS to both maintain all those fronts and implement a regime that satisfies the people. I mean we tried it, let it be their effing problem.

The Kurds are a natural counter to ISIS power. If we fail to back the Kurds this time there will be no one to oppose ISIS in all of northern Iraq. And lets face it the Kurds deserve our help.


I don't care how they work it out, if there has to be a royalty or kickback to the Iraqi government that's fine, whatever. But this oil must flow, lest the Kurds not have enough income and resources to hold Iraqi Kurdistan from ISIS.

So like I said, THERE IS NO UNIFIED IRAQ ANY LONGER. The US led Iraqi transitional government is a defacto failure. It will be lucky to hold Baghdad and the south.

The sooner we face that reality and make the required adjustments the better. Delay and failure to adjust only serves ISIS interests.

By Howie at 08:36 AM | Comments |