Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Markets Magazine

Ex-BP CEO Gets His Life Back as Kurdish Pipeline Opens


Erbil, the regional capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has all the trappings of an oil boomtown. It bristles with construction cranes. Land Cruisers and Range Rovers with tinted windows ply the busy streets. Oil workers and briefcase-bearing foreigners crowd into the Divan Erbil Hotel’s piano bar.

At the foot of the 8,000-year-old Citadel -- which claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited town in the world -- currency traders in the central market swap dollars, euros and Turkish liras for Iraqi dinars out of glass boxes on the sidewalk. Shoppers flock to Erbil’s Family Mall, which features stores such as French hypermarket operator Carrefour SA and Spanish clothing chain Mango.