Because when it comes down to it (as we explained here), all that matters is the resources...
Reprinted with permission of Columbia University Gulf2000 Project (www.gulf2000.columbia.edu)
As JPMorgan's Michael Cembalest notes,
Oil and gas deposits often lie close to sectarian fault lines in the Middle East (Kurdistan and Basra in Iraq; Shi’ite areas in Eastern Saudi Arabia; Kuwait), which is why oil markets are sensitive to sectarian violence.
In Iraq, oil deposits in the South near Basra are well-defended, and account for 75% of Iraqi production volumes. Exports from the North near Kirkuk are low after pipeline attacks earlier this year.
The region was seized last week by Kurdish fighters (Peshmerga), but pipeline repairs are required in areas outside Kurdish control.