Kurds seize Iraq oilfields, ministers pull out of government


Kurdish forces seized two oilfields in northern Iraq and took over operations from a state-run oil company on Friday, while Kurdish politicians formally suspended their participation in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government.

The moves escalated a feud between the Shi’ite-led central government and the autonomous Kurdish region driven by a Sunni insurgency which threatens to fragment Iraq along sectarian and ethnic lines three years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

The Kurdish forces took over production facilities at the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oilfields near the city of Kirkuk, the oil ministry in Baghdad said. It called on the Kurds to withdraw immediately to avoid “dire consequences”.

Al Jazeera is reporting that Iran has closed its three major border crossings into Iraq’s Kurdish region. Given the growing closeness between Baghdad and Tehran, I guess such a move isn’t surprising.


There goes the ball game. Brasil thought it had trouble!


In the short run I would say, “Hurray for the Kurds!” They have been getting the short end of the stick since the breakup of the Ottoman Empire (and maybe even before that breakup).

However, the eventual outcome in the longer run is going to be determined by the actions of ISIS/ISIL/whatever-they’re-calling-themselves-today.


Since they are the ones that live there maybe they should have some say in their lives.

This might just have an effect on American policy in that those in positions of power in America might just have to think of other people around the world as really being people that just might have an idea or so of their own and maybe shouldn’t be under the yoke of America to only implement what “America” seems to “know” is best for them.

Wouldn’t that be something, instead of America forcing their brand of “freedom” on others to actually let others make their own decisions and what will be, will be.


Expansion of ‘secret’ facility in Iraq suggests closer U.S.-Kurd ties

A supposedly secret but locally well-known CIA station on the outskirts of Irbil’s airport is undergoing rapid expansion as the United States considers whether to engage in a war against Islamist militants who’ve seized control of half of Iraq in the past month.

Western contractors hired to expand the facility and a local intelligence official confirmed the construction project, which is visible from the main highway linking Irbil to Mosul, the city whose fall June 9 triggered the Islamic State’s sweep through northern and central Iraq. Residents around the airport say they can hear daily what they suspect are American drones taking off and landing at the facility.

Expansion of the facility comes as it seems all but certain that the autonomous Kurdish regional government and the central government in Baghdad, never easy partners, are headed for an irrevocable split _ complicating any U.S. military hopes of coordinating the two entities’ efforts against the Islamic State.


If Baghdad and Irbil are going separate ways, I guess it makes sense for the US to bolster its position up north. However, will Maliki and others may see this as an abandonment of the central government?


I really hope that the war in Iraq ends soon with ISIS defeated.

That said, will this have any effect on oil and gas prices?


Absolutely. What the “drill here” crowd seems to forget is that oil is a global commodity. This means that anything that happens in the world which is perceived by any of the three petroleum exchanges and their speculators as having either a theoretical or actual impact on supply or demand can impact global oil prices.


I kind of figured as much. Thanks for the information.

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