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Iraqi Kurdistan—back to square one

The independence vote heralded political and economic disaster. Existential uncertainty now faces the region's oil sector

When he proceeded with the independence referendum in September, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq's President Massoud Barzani misread the post-Islamic State moment, alienated international allies and stirred Baghdad's animosity. Friendless and out-gunned, the KRI's Peshmerga forces capitulated when Iraqi federal troops swept into the contested city of Kirkuk and a vast belt of disputed territories across northern Iraq in mid-October. Soon after, the KRI lost 280,000 barrels a day of oil production and around 6bn barrels in proven reserves when Iraqi forces restored Baghdad's control of the Bai Hassan oilfield and the Avana Dome of the Kirkuk field. They kicked out KRI-appointed contractor Kar G

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