MEED Kurdistan projects conference opens in Erbil amid oil export controversy

MEED’s third annual Kurdistan Projects conference opens in Erbil on Sunday amid hopes that Iraqi Kurdistan’s economy is entering a period of unprecedented expansion.

At total of 60 speakers representing government and business in the Kurdistan region of Iraq plus local and international investors will address the event.

Heavy investment in oil and gas, the electricity network, infrastructure and real estate has made the Kurdistan region of Iraq one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

The rise of the Kurdish economy is despite continuing differences between the KRG and Iraq’s central government about the allocation of Iraq’s annual budget and oil exports. A pipeline was opened in December 2013 to allow oil produced in Iraqi Kurdistan to be delivered to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The KRG announced at the end of May that the first tanker loaded with Kurdish oil had left Ceyhan. Iraq’s central government says direct sales of Iraqi oil are illegal without Baghdad’s approval. The US says it opposes independent Kurdish energy exports.

The MEED Kurdistan Projects conference in 2013 was told that the KRG aimed to lift oil production to 1m b/d in 2015. This year’s conference will hear a comprehensive briefing about oil and gas industry plans in the KRG.

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