After the steady buildup of a burgeoning strategic partnership between the Russian national oil company and Kurdistan’s Regional Government (KRG), the year 2018 threw cold water on the ambitious plans of the two sides. Having signed an oil supply contract in February 2017 and an oil and gas infrastructure ownership takeover deal in September, Rosneft seemed to become Kurdistan’s key partner in marketing its hydrocarbon resources. However, after the failed independence referendum in late September, Baghdad’s recapturing of the Kirkuk oil hub and its successful drive to stamp out any possibility of a Kurdish secession, bad news started to pile up for the Rosneft-KRG axis. Three major issues need resolving – Rosneft’s five exploration concessions in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the restarting of full-scale oil exports via Kurdish territory and that of Rosneft’s massive prepayment financing for future barrels of oil. Acting accordingly to the October 2017 agreement […]