Marshals to Seize Kurdish Oil, Leaving Questions on U.S. Policy
Posted at 10:35 a.m. on July 29, 2014
A section of an oil refinery is brought by truck to the Kawergosk Refinery east of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on July 14. (Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images)
The U.S. Marshals Service was ordered Monday to seize a shipment of Kurdish oil offshore of Texas, but a former presidential adviser from the George W. Bush era has said the government ought to reconsider its stance on Kurdish oil, given the recent violence in Iraq.
“The Kurds have, as far as most people can tell, really significant potential as a stand-alone producer of oil and gas,” John Hannah, former national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, said this month. “It has mostly been largely land-locked inside of Kurdistan.”
With control of oil fields in Kirkuk, the Kurds estimate they can produce up to 400,000 barrels per day by the end of this year and up to 2 million barrels by the end of 2020, and could have reserves on par with Libya, he said.
“We have sided with Baghdad in opposing any of their ability to get their own oil to market,” he said at an event on Capitol Hill hosted by Securing America’s Future Energy.
Whatever the basis for U.S. policy with Kurdistan was in the past, it should be reconsidered after the fall of Mosul and collapse of the Iraqi forces in western and northern Iraq, he said.
“In the wake of all of that, it does seem to me that the United States needs to rethink the kind of relationship we have with Kurdistan, both on the energy front as well on the security front,” he said.