The KRG is no longer transferring oil to federal authorities as prescribed in the 2015 budget and is seeking a better deal – with or without Baghdad.
With Kurdistan's export pipeline tangled in politics, beleaguered oil producers hoped they could make ends meet with domestic sales – but demand has been uneven at best.
The end of President Barzani's final term – just two months away – has reignited fundamental arguments over the structure of Kurdistan's incomplete democracy.
On the sidelines of OPEC meetings, Abd al-Mahdi discusses Iraq's record exports, oil company payments, the relationship with Kurdistan, and new projects on the horizon.
The new refining chief says Karbala is on track, Missan is behind schedule, Nassiriya is open for offers, Kirkuk is ready for financing, and Basra can dip into petrodollars to build a new one.
A new grade of Iraqi crude has helped unlock latent production capacity – and poses challenges to the country's infrastructure.
Baghdad and Erbil continue implementing their oil export and revenue sharing agreement, despite falling short of each other's expectations.
The fall of Ramadi was long in the making, and is only the latest symptom of long-standing dysfunction in the Iraqi government's strategy for Anbar province.