Politics and pipelines in 2014: a pivotal year for Kurdistan’s oil sector

As its energy alliance with Turkey solidifies, Kurdistan's oil sector has entered a new phase - but key questions remain.
Politics and pipelines in 2014: a pivotal year for Kurdistan’s oil sector
In Dohuk province, a pipe-laying machine stands beside sections of 36-inch diameter steel pipe, which await welding. (PATRICK OSGOOD/Iraq Oil Report/Metrography)

ERBIL - For years, one troubling question has cast a long shadow over Kurdistan’s oil and gas sector: how will foreign companies monetize their investments? The answer is now in sight, and it lies in the events of 2014.

The obstacles to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) oil development have always been primarily political. Iraq’s central government claims primary authority over the oil sector, including contracting, field management, and exports, and it has enforced its prerogatives largely by exercising control over the country’s pipelines.

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