Could Kurdish Independence Spark An Oil War?

Authored by Zainab Calucuttawala via OilPrice.com,

As the date of the Kurdish independence referendum approaches, oil industry moguls should be concerned about an oil production war between Iran and headless Iraq.

The Kurds are expected to vote on their political status in late September. A vote in the affirmative would mean that Iraq would lose a chunk of its northern areas, which includes the crucial Kirkuk oilfield and its surrounding reserves.

The latest news from the election committee shows that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is doing the most it can to increase international participation in the election. On Monday, authorities announced that they had removed a key requirement for diaspora voters participating in the elections. Kurds participating in the e-voting platform will no longer be required to present a ration card to be able to cast their vote through September 25th. Iraqis who have been living abroad for several years, even decades, no longer hold a valid version of the United Nations-conferred identification. The new provision just requires that voters prove their current Iraqi citizenship via relevant documentation.

In roughly one week, the election authority will count votes and announce the political and territorial future of Iraq. It has been a rocky 100 years for the country since the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement divided Asia Minor on an imperialist paradigm, without regard for cultural variations within the territory.

Believe it or not, soon after Sykes-Picot, Iraq became a kingdom ruled under a Hashemite monarch related to the current king of Jordan. In 1958, the Iraqi army overthrew the monarchy in a development known as the July 14 Revolution, which brought the rebel leader Abd al-Karim Qasim to power and pulled Iraq closer to the Soviet Union.

Decades of Ba’athist leadership later, the U.S. government toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in Baghdad, based on a diplomatic campaign that insisted the Iraqi military had been hiding weapons of mass destruction. Since then, reconstruction has been the name of the game in Iraq, but the past few years of conflict with the deadly Islamic State has made it difficult for Baghdad to focus on creating a prosperous future for its citizens.

In the meantime, the failure of the Iraqi Army to effectively guard the northern territories from the ISIS threat formed a stronger Kurdish Peshmerga army, proud of its heritage and happily willing to sacrifice blood, sweat, and tears for the land they call their own. With Kirkuk firmly in the grips of the KRG, and with ISIS at bay, the Kurds are swinging for their full sovereignty on domestic and foreign issues.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi considers the vote unconstitutional and illegitimate – and it very well may be. The fact that voting requirements are changing this late in the game would make any election observer at least raise an eyebrow.

Official figures say Kirkuk represents 10 percent of Iraq’s total production capacity, which means Baghdad may soon lose its position as the second largest OPEC producer to Iran, should Kurdistan separate. New extraction projects across the country will gradually raise Iraq’s output profile, but similar efforts are underway in Iran as well. Analysts fear that an oil output war may ensue between Iraq and Kurdistan post-separation, but the larger petroleum conflict may arise between Iran and Iraq—two countries with similar levels of output fighting—to rebuild their oil industry after years of international ostracism and domestic warfare, respectively.

To be fair, it is not clear whether the KRG would inherit Iraq’s OPEC membership if it becomes its own entity. De facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and its allies strongly disapprove of any move towards an independent Kurdistan, so it is unlikely that a membership invite will be forthcoming. The United States and the United Kingdom are also pushing for Iraq to keep its territorial integrity in order to focus on the country’s economic growth. Without the support of key Arab and non-Arab allies, it will be hard for the Kurds to make use of any political capital in international circles.

An outline of the challenges related to a separate Kurdistan does not mean the division should not happen at all or even that it should not happen now. There will always be reasons to delay the independence vote. It is a question of oil profits after all. Now or later, this referendum will never be allowed to take place without objection.

Comments

Broken_Trades strannick Wed, 09/20/2017 - 18:49 Permalink

Article missed the largest oil/geopolitical news:

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Russian energy firm Rosneft and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have agreed to extend a pipeline to export natural gas from the Kurdistan Region to Turkey, according to a Reuters report.

Why do Kurds love Israel?

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his country's support for the establishment of a state for the people of Kurdistan on Tuesday, making him the first head of state to support a "legitimate" process for Kurdistan's independence.Bibi says:"Israel rejects the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] and considers it a terrorist organization, as opposed to Turkey, which supports the terror organization Hamas," he added.

Meanwhile, Turkey is "threatening" sanctions.  True that the life blood of Kurdistan flows through Turkey - Also true that Turkey is building all of the highways an dmajor projects for the Kurds right now.  Barzani let in the turks to stop Bagdhad during the fight against ISIS.  Erdogan let Barzani send peshmerga fully armed through Turkey into Syria. All huff and puff, these guys have an arrangement. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-kurds-turkey/erd…

In reply to by strannick

D7z Broken_Trades Wed, 09/20/2017 - 18:55 Permalink

"Why do Kurds love Israel?"If syria landmass gets divided someday the kurds get a big part too, isreal wants a kurdistan happen as soon as possible so the kurds wants syrian landmass and in the same time you will see isreal demand golan heights and lots of western parts for a greater Isreal.I bet lines are already drawn and agreements finished behind closed doors, just Assads in the way. Bibi thinks the Kurds can start the process of shattering syria without war.

In reply to by Broken_Trades

evoila johngaltfla Wed, 09/20/2017 - 19:41 Permalink

This whole Kurdish independence non-sense is exactly that, non-sense. They are landlocked between Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran - none of which want to see an independent Kurdistan. I mean Turkey would lose 1/3 of its mass to such a thing, and they will thus fight tooth and nail to make sure it doesn't happen.Innocent people will die for no good reason, all borne out of the ignorance of the west and the Israelis who don't understand what they are dealing with. I mean, just look at Nuttyahoo. He speaks a few words of Farsi during his UN speech, and he thinks that's going to convert Iranians over to his side. Not a single Iranian buys what he is selling.We are lead by idiots, who let themselves be lead by the neocons, AIPAC, the Saudis, and anybody else willing to throw money at them. In short, we are doomed.

In reply to by johngaltfla

falconflight D7z Wed, 09/20/2017 - 20:30 Permalink

The tiny parcel titled the Golan Heights is already officially a part of Israel.  Israel, and only recently and probably because of Turkey's ErDOGan, has openly voiced support of a national homeland for the distinct ethnicity of Kurds.  Syria is a false artificial nation, just like Lebanon and TransJordan...so really its dismemberment wouldn't be a calamity.

In reply to by D7z

Brazen Heist Mazzy Wed, 09/20/2017 - 18:38 Permalink

This is a myth perpetuated in the Western media in an attempt to win sympathy for their cause. Kurds are treacherous by nature, communist at heart and they sure don't mind some of that LGBT rainbow business liberals drool over. They are the West's perfect pawns in destabilizing the Middle East in order to poison the well for all as the US empire wanes and leaves the region defeated.

In reply to by Mazzy

BobEore Brazen Heist Wed, 09/20/2017 - 21:08 Permalink

Communist at heart? Treacherous by nature? Whose myths are you perpetuating, and why? Nobody gets to 'sum up' the Kurds in a sentence or two, because the subject population is all over the map... literally and figuratively...

in political affinities, religious persuasions, socio-economic status, as well as aspirations. Not to mention, even in something as basic as language "the Kurds" are divided into three major dialects with glancing mutual comprehension. In sum... they fail to fit inside of any "exceptionalist" box for easy inclusion in whatever meme de jour captivates the zheeple.

You have Sunni Kurds - allied with the ethno-supremacists in Ankara - "Shia" Kurds, which are further subdivided into numerous factions since the days of the Kizilbashi and the fractious wars between "Muslim" Iran and "Muslim" Ottomans, "crony-capitalist" Kurds, "nationalist" Kurds, "anti-nationalist" Kurds, sio-Kurds, anti-sionist Kurds,leftist Kurds, rightist Kurds, middle o the road Kurds, and Yazidi Kurds - some of who call themselves "Kurds" and others of whom say they ain't Kurds.

"Communists" you say? Laughable misrepresenation of the usual occidental master of the universe at his computer console. Even the "leftist" wing is divided into factions, the largest of which long ago dropped the Marxist branding for a "libertarian municipallsm" that has more in common with "Ron Paul" and the NRA than Karl Marx and the Merikan lunatic left.

And then... there's the real game changer going on in the middle of all that. Kobane and the cantons marked a sea change of political activity which has only began to hit the muddled east. People... of both genders... picked up guns and began to fight back... against religious fanatics, tyrants and their bagmen... dopey tribalist institutions which arrange every aspect of life on patriarchal lines, inhibit initiative, social harmony and co-existence... meddling foreign states with the usual imperialist designs...

and became to build a SECULAR-BASED alternative structure to all that bullshit which bears more in common with Catalonia 1936-38 ... when anarchist militia fought both Stalinist and fascist brands of totaliitarian statism to a standstill...

than to your witless 'alt-right' fantasies derived from glancing inspection of a terrain you've never been to. The cantons, in fact, have no political affinity at all with the Sraeli-puppet state KRG and the Barzani looter gang. Therefore there is no possibility of a "Kurdistan" stretching from Iran to the Mediterranean, anymore than Switzerland is gonna have a seaport soon.

Drone on dude, whilst cheerleading for yur fave statist entity... it's all the zheeple ever do.

In reply to by Brazen Heist

veritas semper… Mazzy Wed, 09/20/2017 - 19:27 Permalink

No Turdistan,I mean Kurdistan ,would be another Zionist Entity in the ME.And this will not be allowed again.All the neighboring states won't allow it ,plus there is a new Bear sheriff in town.Who has won the war in Syria.So,I can say with certainty,that the Eagle is so f*cked,it's starting to look like a Duck.

In reply to by Mazzy

Volkodav Omen IV Wed, 09/20/2017 - 19:21 Permalink

     bad link..this one should be okey...     http://russia-insider.com/en/military/us-secret-services-tried-nab-29-russian-troops-syria-and-got-their-butts-kicked-russian     update:  checked Rus Mil forums and agree to R. Insider report.     many graphic pics remains so many killed terrs....     Russia MPs there would be much Chechen, with mix everybody else...example:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PEzqc7kUQA  

In reply to by Omen IV

Cluster_Frak earleflorida Wed, 09/20/2017 - 18:37 Permalink

Well, azeris are close to turkey and have no beef with them. Just look at tourist travel statistics. Russia? Well, Russian as bad as they are, emncipated women. Azeri women, despite being muslim for most part, do not wear burkas and walk three steps behind the male in the family. Azeri women stand their ground and often wear the pants in the family.  Azeri Islam benefited from mother RussiaN whixh made it cosmopolitan.

In reply to by earleflorida

earleflorida Mazzy Wed, 09/20/2017 - 18:58 Permalink

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/images/map-nagorno-karabakh-04.gifnote: zionist have been in the lower steppe in iraq, iran, and syria kurdish regions for quite some tyme--- but assad won!!!note2:   the armenian massacre/genocide was turkey's doing, but both the turkish kurd's/syria kurds were paramilitary forces helping the slaughter for gaining the western borders of armenian land

In reply to by Mazzy

sinbad2 Mazzy Wed, 09/20/2017 - 20:10 Permalink

Iraqi women were quite free under Saddam, but after the US invaded the US installed religious zealots, as it always does.People forget that the US was founded by religious zealots(Puritans) and they share the same sort of fucked religious values as ISIS.Arab fanatics constantly  say God is great, American fanatics constantly say praise the Lord, both are cut from the same cloth.

In reply to by Mazzy

Brazen Heist Cluster_Frak Wed, 09/20/2017 - 19:13 Permalink

They also benefited alot from gas.The Ayatollah of Iran (Khamenei) is an Azeri by ethnicity. Most people don't know, but a large chunk of where the Azeri people reside is actually inside Iran.Azerbaijan is historically closer with Turkey, and Armenia (their arch nemesis vis-a-vis Nagorno Kabarakh) is friendlier with Russia. I think Russia is trying to mediate in Nagorno Kabarakh, which both sides would appreciate. We remember last year some uprisings happened in Armenia around the same time? Yeah, those were Nuland-style Neocon color protests, no coincidence.

In reply to by Cluster_Frak

earleflorida Slippery Slope Wed, 09/20/2017 - 21:08 Permalink

the kurd's were treated by saddam like garbage---saddam is dead and his ba`athist sunni minority gonzo! the suuni pop. is now pretty much sequestored in lala land on the western border with syria.fact is the iraqi sunni's loath the ISIS for there indescriminate killing of women, children and elderly.there is a great deal of apathy in the ME today for all arab's disregarding ones own religious dogma/ ideology with what's happened in syria, shaming all to rethink Mohammad teachings!!!they all know, sunni or shiite they could be next for the zionist abattoir via ussa/britain!?!fact is the majority shiite iraqi gov't has to give fair and equal representation in there congress to all, and that means the sunni and kurds. period!last point, and its a big one is the share of revenue regarding the oil in he north, in which the shiite gov't has been cheating them out of via corruption or just???... they haven't had enough tyme to get saddam treatment out of their minds!sometymes it takes generations, but sadly the world doesn't have generations left with war drums and alarms blaring from jerusalem?i wonder what the guy upstairs is thinking about the whole mess where religion was born and now satan sits on the temple of salvation now the throne of moneychangers!

In reply to by Slippery Slope

Brazen Heist Wed, 09/20/2017 - 18:35 Permalink

Israel fully supports Kurdish independence, thinks its a great idea!I hope these Kurdish pawns of the Anglo Zionists, in their attempt to re-draw Sykes Picot, are confronted with a full embargo from Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Then we'll see if Israel gets any Kurdish oil. 

. . . _ _ _ . . . Wed, 09/20/2017 - 19:40 Permalink

Everything you need to know about the Kurdish situation from Thierry Meyssan, Sarah Abed and the Voltaire Network - 5 short articles:."While the Syrian Arab Army, the Russian aviation and Hezbollah are preparing to finish off Daesh, the Pentagon is planning a new war against Syria, this time with Kurdish troops. Just as the mission of the Caliphate was to create a Sunnistan straddling Iraq and Syria, so the mission of « Rojava » is to create a Kurdistan straddling the two states, as the Pentagon has been publicly stating for the last four years."After the Caliphate, Rojava."According to the magazine Israel-Kurd based in Erbil, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and Massoud Barzani, the self-appointed President of the future independent Kurdistan, have reached a secret agreement. Tel-Aviv is committed to installing 200 000 Israelis of Kurdish origin in Kurdistan."200,000 Israelis expected in “Kurdistan” once independence is declared."Like the Palestinians, the Kurds aspire to dispose of their own state. However, since the dislocation of the Ottoman Empire, some of their leaders have favored alliances with some imperialist powers rather than those with their neighbors. These leaders - and the families attached to them - have turned into an imperialist joker to disturb the Middle East. They tried to establish puppet states, successively in Iran, Iraq and Syria, that is to say on the lands of those who had welcomed and protected them. Sarah Abed tells us their story."Part 1The Kurds: Washington’s Weapon Of Mass Destabilization In The Middle EastPart 2The Kurdish Connection: Israel, ISIS And U.S. Efforts To Destabilize IranPart 3The Myth Of The Moderate Kurdish Rebel

sinbad2 Wed, 09/20/2017 - 20:01 Permalink

This latest Amerzionist plan is good news for Russia.This will complete the Turkish realignment, and end any chance of the US gaining control over energy supplies to Europe.The Russians must really be thankful that American stupidity is helping them.

sinbad2 falconflight Wed, 09/20/2017 - 20:53 Permalink

If the pipeline gets built, it would be the deepest pipeline, 3 kliks deep in places. Because the pipeline is so expensive, the gas would be expensive, and not competitive economically with cheap Russian and Iranian gas. To be feasible it would require the US to strongarm European countries to pay more than the market price.ALSO, the gas field covers territory belonging to Egypt Lebanon and Syria. Israel can steal the gas belonging to its neighbours, because Uncle Samuel threatens the owners.Uncle Samuel is on deaths door, and once he is gone, Israel will not survive.

In reply to by falconflight