by Daniel J. Graeber, Oil Price:
Crude oil from the semiautonomous Kurdish region of Iraq has reached the international market for the first time. Oil was ferried by truck across the northern Iraqi border to Turkey from the Taq Taq oil field, operated by Turkish energy company Genel Energy. The central government considers unilateral oil trading from the Kurdish north illegal, highlighting a political row that’s been festering for years. Iraq, however, is now the second largest crude oil producer among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Production is gaining steam 10 years after U.S. forces invaded the country, but its full potential is limited by a lack of export options. Baghdad says it has sole authority to determine Iraq’s energy future, but developments in the Kurdish north may eventually undermine its confidence.
Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion and the fall of the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraq now sits in the No. 2 spot among OPEC members, just behind Saudi Arabia, with an average 2012 oil production rate of 3 million barrels per day. The vast majority of Iraq’s oil production comes from fields situated near its southern ports, but about 25 percent comes from northern oil fields. Exports from the northern Taq Taq oil field alone are estimated at around 25,000 bpd. Iraq, as a whole, could eventually produce nearly 12 million bpd if its oil developments plans go forward unimpeded.
Please follow SGT Report on Twitter & help share the message.