Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    New U.S. Approach Urged to Reopen Kurdistan-Turkey Pipeline

    A trio of U.S. congressmen has sent a letter to President Biden, urging a new approach to facilitate the reopening of the pipeline between Iraq’s Kurdistan region and Turkey, according to Reuters. The pipeline, which has been shut since March, contributes about 0.5% of global oil supply and has cost the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) approximately $4 billion in lost exports.

    The closure of the pipeline has had a severe impact on the KRG, cutting off the region from the majority of its revenue. KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani warned that the economic drain could lead to the collapse of the region. The congressmen highlighted that the KRG has been one of the United States’ most reliable partners in the Middle East and called for a “new Iraq strategy” to address the crisis.

    The pipeline’s closure was a result of an arbitration ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which ordered Turkey to pay Baghdad damages for unauthorized exports by the KRG between 2014 and 2018. Turkey halted flows on Iraq’s northern oil export route as a consequence.

    With global oil supplies already restricted by OPEC+ and prices rising, the resumption of flows from northern Iraq’s oil sector would benefit not only the KRG but also the United States.

    It is important for the United States to support the reopening of the pipeline to prevent the collapse of the KRG and maintain its partnership with a reliable ally in the region. A new approach and strategy are necessary to address the current crisis and find a resolution that benefits all parties involved.

    – Natalie Grover, Reuters