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Iraqi Kurdistan oil a slippery issue

Ownership of Iraqi Kurdistan oil is a major source of friction between Baghdad and Erbil, while Turkey and Iran compete for lucrative oil transport contracts.

NAJAF, Iraq — Iran and Turkey are trying to extend their economic influence over Iraqi Kurdistan oil, even as controversy flares over surreptitious deals between Kurdistan and Turkey.

Iraqi Kurdistan has been shipping oil to Turkey without Baghdad's knowledge, resulting in Iraq violating an OPEC agreement, according to accusations leveled Jan. 3 by Iraq's prime minister. Also, Iraq recently confirmed that a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) minister had offered to sell oil fields to Turkey for $5 billion, again without consulting Baghdad.

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