Baghdad’s compromise with Kurdish autonomy - fear of losing Kirkuk

Baghdad’s compromise with Kurdish autonomy - fear of losing Kirkuk

Trend Arabic News Service commentator Aygul Taghiyeva

Last week the Iraqi central government and authorities of the Kurdish autonomy reached an agreement on oil payments. Baghdad promised to pay all its debts for the exported Kurdish oil and in the future to pay for the work of foreign companies on the territory of the autonomy. Instead the Kurdish autonomy will resume oil supplies to the central government which were interrupted four months ago.

The issue of oil fields in the territory of the Kurdish autonomy has been a bone of contention for more than a year between the central government of Iraq and the administration of the autonomy. Kurdish authorities bypassing Baghdad began to cooperate with foreign oil companies and even announced their intention to build an oil pipeline within two years in Turkey in order to reduce dependence on the central government. Ankara has reacted approvingly to this signal and stated its readiness to cooperate with the Kurdish autonomy of Iraq in the future.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi parliament has been considering for the past seven years and each time postpones the adoption of a law on oil which envisages joint development of oil and gas fields by federal and regional authorities. Under the bill, incomes from hydrocarbon production will be shared in a ratio of 60 per cent to the central government's budget, 40 per cent the regional government.

Achievement of this agreement on oil payments can be regarded as Baghdad's compromise and a green light for the Kurdish government. The central government has decided to make concessions to the Kurdish autonomy, but it is hard to believe that Baghdad has taken this step only for fear of losing 140,000 barrels per day supplied from the autonomy, given that oil exports from Iraq grew rapidly during the period when the autonomy suspended its supplies and last month reached 2.5 million barrels per day.

Baghdad's compromise becomes clearer when considering it in light of the country's president and prime minister's visit to the Sulaymaniyah Province in Kurdish autonomy yesterday. It is interesting that immediately after signing an agreement between the parties, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani met with Kurdish autonomy head Massoud Barzani.

In addition to ways to solve the political crisis, the meeting also discussed very important issues for the country namely the implementation of Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, according to which Kirkuk Province is scheduled to hold a referendum on whether its people want to join the Kurdish autonomy or prefer to remain part of Iraq. Under this article of the Constitution, the referendum covers part of the provinces of Diyala, Saladin and Nineveh, which are as rich in hydrocarbons as Kirkuk.

Kirkuk has 13 per cent of Iraq's proven oil reserves and is the second major oil producer in the country and also cost of oil production in this region is considered the lowest in Iraq. Important oil and gas fields are located in the provinces of Diyala and Nineveh.
The referendum was scheduled for 2007, but is being postponed from year on year.

However amid the energy crisis between Baghdad and the Kurdish autonomy this issue has again become relevant. Therefore, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's unexpected visit to Kirkuk, which is very sensitive for Baghdad, was critically apprehended by Al-Maliki government. All the more so in recent years Ankara has noticeably enhanced cooperation with the Kurdish autonomy of Iraq and a strengthening of economic relations between the parties has been observed.

Perhaps, given the growing economic and political power of the Kurdish autonomy, the federal government has decided to make concessions for it and winning Barzani's favour to postpone the referendum for a few more years, the results of which will evidently not be in favour of Baghdad.

It is also possible that at a background of the all processes, the Iraqi parliament will at last pass a law on oil which will ensure Baghdad that other hydrocarbon rich provinces such as Mosul and Basra will not follow the Kurdish autonomy and will not cooperate with foreign oil companies without the consent of the central government.

Kazakhstan reports value increase in all types of deposits
Kazakhstan reports value increase in all types of deposits
Kazakhstan boosts imports of Switzerland-made products
Kazakhstan boosts imports of Switzerland-made products
Kazakh airlines eye to launch several flights on Turkestan-Istanbul route
Kazakh airlines eye to launch several flights on Turkestan-Istanbul route
Loading Bars
Latest
It is necessary to end deployment of Armenian armed forces on territory of Azerbaijan - Foreign Ministry
WHO reports over 420,000 new daily cases of COVID-19
Istanbul’s major Galataport project to go live in April
0.03% of pupils and 0.1% of school staff in Georgia confirmed with Covid-19 this week
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on February 28
Uzbekistan's largest share in formation of GDP falls on Tashkent
Azerbaijan's revenues from tea, coffee exports double in Jan.2021
Cargo movements in Iran's Khalij-e-Fars port increase
China conditionally approves one-shot recombinant COVID-19 vaccine
Stock gains power Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to higher profit
More than 165,000 apply for Turkey’s most popular scholarship
Georgian Railway resumes passenger transfers
Kazakhstan reports value increase in all types of deposits
New road put into operation in Iran's Golestan Province
Azerbaijan sets up working subgroups to prepare 2021-2025 Development Strategy
Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling in Iran
Azerbaijan reports 172 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Finance to put up medium-term bonds for auction
Azerbaijan's banking sector ends January 2021 with profit
Foundation of several manufacturing enterprises laid in Iran's Qazvin Province
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for metal detector via tender
USAID to promote start-up dev’t in Turkmenistan
President Aliyev: Any attempt to violate implementation of November 10th declaration will be very harmful for Armenia (VIDEO)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for February 27
Bosnian TV channel visits liberated Azerbaijani Aghdam, reminds of Khojaly genocide
Azerbaijani police officers find ordnances left by Armenians in Khojavand (PHOTO)
Long-term energy demand impact of COVID-19 is modest
President Aliyev to Iranian reporter: Your question is a kind of an accusation (VIDEO)
New Zealand's largest city Auckland back to lockdown after COVID-19 case
Iran pins hopes on Swiss financial channel to purchase COVID-19 vaccines
Foreign journalists visit village where two-year-old Azerbaijani girl was killed by Armenians
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Chabahar port revealed
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's oil and gas sector
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for catering, housekeeping services
Kazakhstan boosts imports of Switzerland-made products
Uzbek ministry, German Society for International Cooperation sign agreement
Uzbekistan, China expand mutual trade despite COVID-19
Georgia reports 373 new cases of coronavirus on Feb.27
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Baku Metro continues preparatory work for commissioning of new 'November' 8 station
Iran's exports to Russia increase
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for pumps via tender
Kazakh airlines eye to launch several flights on Turkestan-Istanbul route
UNDP in Turkmenistan opens tender for services on seismic work
Volume of electricity generated by renewable energy power plants in Iran announced
Researcher talks monuments on ancient Azerbaijani lands vandalized by Armenians (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for Feb. 27
Azerbaijan's MoD shares footage from Gubadly's Afandilar village (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iranian currency rates for February 27
Remittances from Azerbaijan to Georgia show highest growth rate
Belarus considering possibility of supplying agricultural machinery to Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan’s Turkmenbashi Oil Refinery exceeds plan for kerosene production
Azerbaijani oil prices published
Kazakhstan's uranium mining company opens tender to acquire electro-technical materials
Issuance of construction permissions in Georgia down
Philippines extends partial coronavirus curbs in capital until end-March
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Kazakh gas supply company to attract equipment installation services via tender
Turkey's tourism industry puts hopes on safety measures for new season
Azerbaijani marketing platform plans to become regional player
Argentine health minister tests positive for COVID-19
Czech gov't declares new state of emergency over coronavirus
U.S. FDA advisors recommend approving Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
Increase in malware attacks makes cybersecurity more relevant than ever - Kaspersky Lab in Azerbaijan
South Korea vaccinates 18,000 to start ambitious COVID-19 campaign
US may announce new sanctions on Russia within weeks - White House press secretary
Founder of Indian Jet Airways eyes opening airline in Uzbekistan’s Namangan region
Saudi Arabia rejects U.S. intelligence report on Khashoggi's killing: statement
Israel registers 2,738 new COVID-19 cases, 769,971 in total
U.S. announces 'Khashoggi ban' for 76 Saudi individuals
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 427,000 in past day
Slovenia confirms first case of coronavirus variant identified in S. Africa
UN Security Council adopts resolution on vaccination
UK records another 8,523 coronavirus cases, 345 deaths
Kazakhstan shows interest in supplies of Belarusian sugar, its manufacturing technology
Turkey reports 9,205 new COVID-19 cases, 2,683,971 in total
Iran, Russia emphasize need to coop. in agricultural sector
When will Georgia receive its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?
House poised to approve Biden's $1.9T coronavirus relief bill in Friday vote
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Azerbaijan discloses volume of liabilities of banks in Jan. 2021 accounting for deposits
Azerbaijan imposes restrictions on import of poultry meat from Estonian county
Amount of financial support of Kazakh manufacturing sector by Baiterek holding increases
Attracting FDI can help Georgia to boost exports of high-value food products - OECD
European Council extends mandate of special representative for South Caucasus
Kuwait reports 1,022 new COVID-19 cases, 189,046 in total
WHO says COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Africa has gathered steam
Armenia has always supported terrorism - MP
EU supports JCPOA commitments
Azerbaijan focused on rehabilitation, reconstruction of liberated lands - MP
Assistant to Azerbaijan's president talks country's success in int'l information field
Baku Stock Exchange to auction off Azerbaijani Central Bank's short-term notes
Azerbaijan records growth of GDP in non-oil sector over Jan. 2021
Azerbaijan discloses volume of fruits and vegetables exported since early 2021
Azerbaijan would like to bring new ideas, proposals to region with help of OSCE - MP
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan talk opening ground checkpoints
All Armenian prisoners of war have been returned to Armenia - Azerbaijani MP
President Aliyev makes phone call to President Erdogan
Number of electronic registrations of businesses in Azerbaijan growing
All news