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Good News for Kurdistan

2015-12-18

Genel Energy Plc GENL (LON) , the largest independent oil and gas operator in Kurdistan, will sell its first crude oil through a new pipeline to Turkey later this month.The regional government of the oil rich, semi-autonomous region of Iraq announced officially last week in Erbil, the regional capital, it would begin pumping the first 2 million barrels of oil through the pipeline by the end of January, on its own authority and without the prior approval of the Iraqi government.

via ISIS Black Market Oil: Nathaniel Rothschild’s Genel Energy Profits | News.

This article, from October 2014, slipped under the radar at the time, but now it’s up and running.  Genel’s latest news announcement regarding payments says that they have received $16.5 million as their share of a $30 million dollar payment by the Kurdish regional government as of December 14, 2015.

The firm has raised 2.2 billion dollars in capital in addition to a $2.1 billion share exchange, to build up its infrastructure, and is ready to pump.  Exports could top 10 million barrels a month by the end of 2015.  These developments can only help Kurdistan along towards independence from Iraq, a long-cherished goal of the Kurdish people.  There is a major difference in state-building from the Islamic State in that the Kurds will defend their own territory to the death, but will not attack the Islamic State beyond their own borders.  The Kurdish state is unlikely to wage aggressive war against the Islamic State, and with good reason.

The Kurds have received covert support from the US since the first Iraq war, in which Iraq invaded a defenseless, rich country on its southern border and the US, NATO, and many allies under the first President Bush crushed the Iraqis but couldn’t directly liberate the Kurds.   US troops had to stand by and watch while Iraqi troops massacred Kurds on the other side of a canal separating their forces.

There are 200,000 Syrian refugees in Kurdistan currently, and the best thing the US could do right now is to support the Kurds in their independence and oil-pumping efforts.  With 1.4 billion barrels in “proven and probable” reserves, there is plenty more oil to come, and with it the status of the Syrian refugees is sure to improve.

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