Kirkuk oil starts to flow into Kurdistan

The integration of Kirkuk oil fields into Kurdistan's pipeline network promises to escalate tensions with Baghdad and raise difficult questions over how to manage oil flows and revenue.
A worker maintains production at the North Oil Company in Kirkuk.

KIRKUK - Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region has begun pumping crude from Kirkuk into its own independent oil infrastructure, days after Kurdish Peshmerga forces took full control of fields that have long been managed by Iraq's federal government.

The flow of oil signals the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) intention to continue solidifying its control over Kirkuk, the epicenter of a decade-long territorial dispute. The move is also likely to exacerbate the political divisions between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's administration and the increasingly independence-minded KRG.

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