The US troop surge in 2007 helped quiet Iraq's bloody civil war. But it failed to deliver on what US officials and officers said was crucial for Iraq's future at the time: sectarian reconciliation. Rather than forging a new national identity out of the horrors of Iraq's war, Iraq's Shiite and Sunni Arabs and ethnic Kurds sullenly retreated to their own sectarian corners, and the country's political parties remain vehicles for ethnic or sectarian interests. The next year is probably going to be the most crucial for determining the future of Iraq since the US-led invasion of 2003, as Iraq's various political factions compete for power and influence without foreign troops getting in the way. Here are a few of the major players.
Iraqi Kurdistan is moving ahead with independence plans. With Kurds also holding an important swing vote in Iraq's parliament, this is a problem. A big one.
Kurdistan exported its first shipment of oil to the international market. What does this mean for Kurdistan's relationship with Baghdad?
For the moment, Baghdad won't be able to stop the Kurdish oil and gas momentum growing in Northern Iraq, Alic writes. Once the pipeline is up and running, the game is over and Baghdad doesn’t have the resources to turn it into a conflict.
New and increased oil production in Northern Iraq and Africa has come as good news to Genel Energy. The latest feather in its cap is the securing of a rig contract for offshore drilling in its Africa portfolio.
The Iraqi central government and authorities of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government put together a seven-point deal last week that could see the Kurds resume oil exports to Iraq in return for a revision of the Iraqi 2013 budget, Alic writes.
Kennedy takes a look at the billionaires who have benefitted the most from the US oil industry, according to Forbes' recently released rich list.
Aroway Energy CEO Chris Cooper discusses junior oil and gas companies, the Keystone XL pipeline and the future of Canadian oil and gas, in an interview with OilPrice.com.