Kurdish Peshmerga forces Reports from the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) suggest the Kurdish Peshmerga forces have recently seized a shipment of oil equipment destined for the Iraqi state-run South Oil Company (SOC). The equipment was on their way from Russia to southern Iraq through the Turkish-Iraqi border. According to these reports, the Peshmerga forces have so far refused to release the shipment and let it reach its destination.
It is not yet clear whether the Kurdish move has to do with the tension prevailing between the local Kurdish government and the Oil Ministry in Baghdad.
The local Kurdish government is understood to be signing contracts with oil foreign companies to explore for oil in northern Iraq bypassing the Oil Ministry in Baghdad.
It has already signed contracts with DNO of Norway, Petoil and General Energy of Turkey, Western Oilsands and Heritage Oil of Canada and Woodside of Australia.
A few days ago, the Kurdish government created an oil portfolio and appointed Seperyas Hurani to run it. However, the Oil Ministry in Baghdad did not welcome the move as it wants the Iraqi oil industry to remain under its full control.