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 Will BP achieve Kirkuk's Baba oil field developments?

 Opinion — Analysis 
  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


Will BP achieve Kirkuk's Baba oil field developments? ‎ 20.4.2012 
By Alan Abdulla
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Baba Gurgur, Kirkuk oil field. Photo: G.H.Planet/
  Read more by Alan Abdulla
April 20, 2012

Few days ago I read an article on under the title “Iraq wants British BP to revive northern Kirkuk oilfield”, I would like to explain and provide some corrections on the article .

The article has mentioned that there are 3 structures that kirkuk’s oil field consists of which is correct, they are Khurmala, Baba and Avana.

What the article has pointed is that, only Khurmala structure is under Kurdistan government’s control and jurisdiction which is wrong and i will prove this claim wrong.

First of all In June 2009 for instance, the Oil Ministry offered Kirkuk up for auction in its first bidding round for international energy firms. Shell, Sinopec, and Turkish Petroleum put together an offer, but couldn’t come to terms with the government. Then, just as now, the Kurds threatened to not provide protection at the field if it didn’t have a say in the Baba field’s development. Kurdistan Regional Government KRG claimed that if any deals were signed, it would violate the constitution. This is the same stance that the KRG is taking today.

Secondly, one of the Kirkuk's oil field structures known as Avana, lies in Makhmour district, this town was out of KRG’s administration borders prior to 2003, but after the liberation of Iraq by the coalition forces, Peshemrga forces moved in and have been securing the region until today, the government administrations of the district are all run directly by KRG, so is its borders controlled by Peshmerga forces .In Oct 2011, Massoud Barzani Kurdistan region President paid a visit to the district, in a conference Barzani announced “ Makhmour is a part of Kurdistan region and does not fall under the disputed areas of article 140 in the Iraqi constitution”

Thus we can clearly see, that Avana structure falls under KRG’s full control and jurisdictions, plus the oil giant ExxonMobil has won the block as a part of the contract it has signed with KRG, a move that angered Baghdad and led into calling the contracts ‘illegal’ by Shahristani.
Also when Barzani visited Washington early this month in April, after meeting with Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, Rex said “we will honor the contracts we have signed with KRG and see her as our great partner”.

Baghdad’s continuous heroics towards KRG oil contracts with the foreign oil companies, have been nothing but a cover up for the failures in developing Iraq's energy sector, there are currently only 4 hours of electricity power per day in Iraq while in kurdistan region it has topped 24 hours recently with plans for an additional 500 MW in summer to be added onto the national power grids.

Alan Abdulla, an independent Kurdish thinker and activist currently residing in Sydney, Australia, exclusive for

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  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


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