The independence referendum exposed how vulnerable the semi-autonomous KRG was—as a landlocked, oil-dependent territory surrounded by hostile powers.
The recent tension in Iraq highlights the ongoing reality of the global oil market: Many key oil-producing countries are politically unstable.
Despite Iraq's commitment to cutting total crude production, its exports are set to rise, and have already registered a sharp uptick to the United States.
Historically high oil output obscures the fact that OPEC is also experiencing some of its worst-ever unplanned outages. Combined, the volumes lost to violent conflict, political disputes and other setbacks add up to almost 3 mbd.
The Kurds of Iraq can’t be faulted for dreaming of independence. But given the circumstances, they also can’t be faulted for waiting a while longer to declare it.