The geopolitical challenge of Iraqi-Kurdistan’s natural gas

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Hemin M. Ismael (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Corey Johnson

Abstract: Kurdistan is a semi-autonomous region of Iraq with proven reserves of 200 trillion cubic feet (5.7 trillion cubic meters) of natural gas and 45 million barrels of oil. While oil is currently being exported to world markets from Iraqi Kurdistan, providing the region with an important source of revenue, natural gas will likely be a key source of Kurdistan’s revenues in the future. It remains an open question whether that wealth will be used to promote social and economic development and good governance or whether it will become a curse that affects the region’s well-being. This research examines the internal and external dimensions of Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) natural resource geography. Internally, KRG has policies in place to develop its natural resources; therefore, this study analyzes the Kurdistan energy policy on natural gas, and the obstacles the KRG faces such as the deal and sharing of petroleum revenue which has caused issues between Kurdistan and Baghdad governments. Externally, the research examines energy relations between Kurdistan and powerful neighbors such as Turkey and Iran and also with actors in Europe that are keen to bring Kurdish gas supplies to market. Geopolitically, this research tests how Kurdistan’s location and contingent sovereignty affects its ability to develop its resource base. The dissertation employs a case study method. The analysis is based primarily on interviews with key actors in Kurdistan, including politicians from different political parties, members of Kurdistan’s parliament, Natural Resource Commission members, and representatives of international energy companies active in Kurdistan. The project also includes analysis of official statements of the political opposition’s parties, publically available data, and news reports.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Kurdistan Region, Iraq, Natural Gas Policy, Geopolitics, PUK, PDK, Russia, Turkey, Iran Azerbaijan, Energy Security
Kurdistan (Iraq). $b Hikumeti Heremi Kurdistan-Eraq
Natural gas $z Iraq $z Kurdistan
Energy policy $z Iraq $z Kurdistan
Geopolitics $z Iraq $z Kurdistan

Email this document to