Iraqi Kurdish leaders plan to hold a referendum on the region’s independence by November, an official said on Wednesday, in a move that could lead to the break-up of OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer. Massoud Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government, wants the vote to take place before the U.S. presidential election, said Kifah Mahmoud, an adviser at the president’s office. He didn’t explain the reasoning behind the timeline. Barzani met Kurdish political leaders on Tuesday to discuss the timeline, Mahmoud said. While they all agreed to hold the referendum, the vote “doesn’t mean independence. It is the decision of the people,” he said. The Kurds, who historically have resisted control by Arab-dominated governments in Baghdad, are independently developing oil reserves they say may total 45 billion barrels — equivalent to almost a third of the deposits in the rest of Iraq, according to BP Plc data. Saad […]