In recent news Kurdistan’s Prime Minister Barzani has declared a referendum for the Kurdistan Regional Government would not be dissuaded. Iraq is experiencing turmoil at the hands of the terrorist group ISIL, and rumors of a partitioned Iraq are in the news. Iraq has been doomed for failure for a long time, and perhaps ISIL’s involvement is just the writing on the wall. In the midst of so much upheaval it has been the Kurdish army or Peshmerga, meaning “those who confront death” on the front lines.
But, no mistake, the U.S. and allied forces have also lent a hand to the Kurds. Recently, multiple nations are ramping up munitions and arms to the Kurds. These include: Germany, Denmark, Belgium, U.S., France, U.K., Iran, Australia, Albania and more. There is a joint effort to protect what is in the heart of Kurdistan. The area of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq is rich in oil. So rich in fact that there are over 50 oil companies in business there owned by many nations.
With so much at interest in Kurdistan, the Kurds resistance has been a main force in battling the extremist group, and its attempts at establishing a self sufficient “Sunni Triangle” state in West & Northern Iraq, and oil production is large part of the financial structure ISIL wishes to gain. The Kurds have been able to use a trade route through Iran to transport oil. Baghdad has been in dispute with Kurdistan over oil revenues at length; and because of continued troubles with Baghdad, the Kurds partnered with Iran for oil trade routes.
The Kurds oil business is being held back by the Iraqi Constitution. The Kurds have stated Iraq is trying to claim the oil reserves in Kurdistan as their own, and has accused the Kurds of illegally using the trade route through Iran. The Kurds disagree, and this makes independence so much more important to the Kurds. In fact, the Kurds have reportedly already antagonized Baghdad by signing exploration and production deals on its own terms with firms including Exxon Mobil, and Chevron and is currently laying the final stretch of an independent export pipeline to Turkey.
In the midst of turmoil, the Kurds are still exporting oil. On August 29, 2014, it was cited that a Kurdish oil tanker, carting $100 million worth of oil went dark off the coast of Texas. It later reappeared. Iraq was significantly upset regarding the Kurd’s transactions with the illegal oil shipment and filed a lawsuit. Only to have Iraq's lawsuit vacated by Texas. The moral to this story is: The U.S. supports $100 Million dollars worth of oil provision in deference to Kurdistan, regardless of Iraq's Constitution and policy.
More sway for the Kurdish independence occurred when Turkish Prime Minister, Prime Minister Ahmed Davotuglu, insinuated that resolving the Kurdish issue is a main priority of the new Turkish government, and he urged public support of the Kurds, ending a three-decade conflict.
Not only are things melting peacefully between Kurdistan and Turkey, retired U.S. military officers are reported to want to do business in Kurdistan’s oil fields. These ex-military men are said to be strong advocates for the Kurdish cause for independence. Believing that Iraq will not recover, and is gone, former Lt. Gen. Jay Garner stated “I personally believe that the former Iraq is gone and will not return,” The hopes of the retired officers is that Kurdistan will emerge as an independent, Pro-American, Pro-Business state.
Kurdistan’s oil production is on an upswing and does not appear to be slowing down. In fact, in the last day news reports have been coming from around the globe that Kurdistan oil is popular. Kurdistan has shipped 10 million barrels of oil from the Turkish port of Ceyhan since May, in defiance of Bagdad, and the shipments have increased to 400,000 barrels per day.
While some sources state that Kurdistan will make attempts at assisting the government in Iraq in unification strategies, this doesn’t appear to be what is actually happening in real-time. In fact, the Kurds have waited for validation as an independent nation for a really long time.