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Iraqi Kurds' energy independence dilemma

Fires flare off the gas from in Kirkuk, Iraq this October. Photo: Emad Matti / AP

After Iraqi Kurds' overwhelming vote for independence last month, their energy strategy is now up in the air, in particular since the Iraqi army moved in to the disputed, oil-rich Kirkuk after the vote, the NYT reports.

Context: Iraqi Kurdish leaders have been courting international companies (think Chevron and Exxon Mobil) for oil and gas deals for years as part of a linchpin to a financially strong independence strategy. Losing Kirkuk means their pitch may no longer be viable on top of already-depressed results in the oil sector.