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Thanks to IS, Iraqi Kurdistan sees oil revenues rise by 60%

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Since the beginning of the crisis in Iraq four months ago, that is to say since the invasion of a part Iraq, prearranged between the Islamic State and the Kurdistan Regional Government [1], the latter has increased its oil revenues by 60%.

Speaking at the closure of the forum "The Middle East in Transition", organized by the Middle East Research Institute, the Minister of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government (Erbil), Ashti Hawrami (pictured), revealed that, despite opposition from the Federal Government of Iraqi (Baghdad), he has managed to sell on the international market all the oil extracted in Kirkuk.

From the outset of the joint offensive by the Islamic State and the Kurdistan Regional Government, the latter has seized the Kirkuk oil fields, thereby illegally increasing the area of its jurisdiction by 40%.

Although the Iraqi Federal Government has initiated a lawsuit in the US against the marketing of the oil stolen by the Kurdistan Regional Government, it hasn’t prevented the latter from selling all the production through the Turkish port of Ceyhan at the international price of $ 83 per barrel, and sometimes at a slight discount (in this case $ 75 per barrel).

The forum opened with the commitment to hold a referendum to on Kirkuk’s future status, and ended with the recognition of the current full economic independence and viability of the Kurdistan Regional Government, followed by a call for political independence.

[1] “PKK revelations on ISIL attack and creation of "Kurdistan"”, Voltaire Network, 8 July 2014.

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