Kurdistan starts exporting oil, threatening more Iraq instability

|By:, SA News Editor

The first cargo of crude oil to be exported by pipeline from Iraqi Kurdistan has left a Turkish port by ship, bound for another European destination.

A tanker loaded with more than 1M barrels of crude oil departed last night from Ceyhan, "the first of many such sales," the Kurdistan Regional Government says.

The move by the semi-autonomous region defies Baghdad's objections and may encourage other regional authorities to bypass the central government.

Oil companies with a Kurdistan presence include global majors Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), Marathon Oil (MRO), Hess (HES) and Total (TOT), as well as wildcatters such as Gulf Keystone (GUKYF) and Genel Energy (GEGYF).