Erbil, Baghdad still at odds over oil

Iraq’s political and fiscal realities appear to be pushing Baghdad closer to its oil rivals in Kurdistan, though the two sides remain wedged apart by both bitterness and key policy differences.
Erbil, Baghdad still at odds over oil
Ashti Hawrami, the Kurdish minister of natural resources, in his office. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

LONDON - The annual Iraq oil conference here typically omits leading representation from Iraq's Kurdistan region. Baghdad claims sole control over the country's oil sector and has criticized the semi-autonomous region's oil deals as overstepping its authority.

But this year, the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) natural resources minister, Ashti Hawrami, who is never short of opinions, was a featured speaker. He touted a time-has-come message, demanding respect for an oil province that rarely gets a seat at the table in Iraq's oil sector.

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