Rosneft is moving into Kurdistan’s upstream sector, where there are currently 22 open blocks. Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami put 20 on offer last December (MEES, 9 December 2016). Two more have since been relinquished and are also now on the table; Taza (formerly Oil Search 60%, Total 20%, KRG 20%) and Baranan (formerly Total 60%, Murphy Oil 20%, KRG 20%). 

The most contentious of the blocks is located in Nineveh province along the Syrian border and containing the...