Derek Brower, ERBIL
Kurdistan’s rocky emergence as an oil exporter is the
dominant story in northern Iraq. But the region’s
large natural gas reserves hold promise, too, offering a
lucrative business that may bypass some of the central
government’s objections to Kurdish oil
Energy, a Turkish firm already producing oil in Kurdistan,
says it plans to bring on stream 4 billion cubic metres a year
(cm/y) of gas from its fields in Kurdistan by 2015.
The production will go to Turkey’s energy-hungry
market, reinforcing the growing commercial ties between Ankara
and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Last year, trade between Kurdistan
and Turkey amounted to $8bn, say KRG officials, who predict
such figures will mushroom as the region’s oil and
gas business, still in its infancy, takes off.
The KRG thinks oil production — hindered for now by
weak infrastructure and an increasingly...