Crossfire War: Oil Drilling Shocks Baghdad Central Government


Eurasia Theatre; Oslo – Zakho – Kurdistan – Iraq – Oil Drilling Shocks Baghdad Central Government

Night Watch: OSLO – Last year the Norwegian oil concern DNO signed an exploration agreement with semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan in the north of the country near the Iranian, Syrian and Turkish border, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Baghdad was not informed of the arrangement and at the ceremony Tuesday, in Kurdistan to celebrate the start of drilling, the Prime Minister of Kurdistan Northern Region Nechirvan Barzani said, “there is no way Kurdistan would accept that the Central Government will control our resources.”

The Iraqi northern border town of Zakho, where also Syria, Turkey and Iran come together, is where the drilling is taking place. The concern in the region, is that revenue from the operation could be used to finance an attempt to achieve an independent Kurdistan for the 20 million Kurds who live in the three countries that border northern Iraq.

The Palestinian issue is nothing compared to the explosions an independent Kurdistan could cause and not just to the Middle East. This oil arrangement has not even been addressed by Baghdad. I assume that security is being provided by the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

In the eastern part of the Kurdish region other energy deals are being signed and negotiated. In Sulaymaniya, near the Iranian border, and where the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan has its headquarters, an electricity contract was signed with a Turkish company. Just west of there, in Chamchamal, where there are a lot dormant oil wells, a foreign concern is in negotiation for operations there.

Tehran’s response will be supportive. They do not want violence to get out of their control and they realize the importance of incorporating as many groups as possible into Iraq’s future. That will guarantee an active economy and increase Tehran’s influence. Only if the Kurds show more signs of indepedence would Tehran take steps to suppress it.

Night Watch Information Service

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.