The Energy Report: Let's start with Kurdistan, Lionel. It's one of the hottest countries in the world for oil and gas exploration, especially in terms of production share contracts. A few prescient firms, such as WesternZagros Resources Ltd. (WZR:TSX.V) and Genel Energy Plc (GENL:LSE) control promising properties in Kurdistan. What's the back story?
Lionel Therond: Prospects have never been better for players in Kurdistan. The key factor has been the recent entry of Turkey into the export debate. Allow me to explain: Turkey has an energy-hungry economy ready to buy oil and gas production directly from Kurdistan as long as the physical routes exist for exports. In response, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has started building pipelines toward Turkey, which should be operational at the end of 2013/early 2014.
"International majors are voting with their feet and entering Kurdistan."
That was a paradigm change. We had been waiting three years for an agreement between the KRG and the Iraqi federal government on the commercial conditions for exports, and Baghdad's initial stance was to declare all licenses in Kurdistan illegal. But with new export routes that could potentially bypass Iraqi territory and lead directly into Turkey, Baghdad's agreement is no longer necessary, which has brought the Iraqi government back to the negotiating table. Continue reading "Africa and Kurdistan Show Great Oil and Gas Potential: Lionel Therond"