Iraqi Kurdish politicians deny an incident involving armed men taking over oil company headquarters recently, has anything to do with political rivalry. But insiders say it does – and the problem is serious. But now that Kirkuk appears as good as in Kurdish hands, it is clear there are also internal tensions between the Kurds themselves. The rivalry between the region’s two major political parties over Kirkuk was recently highlighted when, on March 2, armed men entered the headquartersof the Iraqi oil company, North Oil, in Kirkuk. The office is in charge of sending the oil produced in Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey through the Ceyhan pipeline, from where it is exported to the rest of the world. On the surface, it seemed that it was the same old gripe, with Iraqi Kurdistan saying that Baghdad was not giving them enough return on oil produced in the northern region. But in reality this was also about an old gripe between the region’s two largest political parties, who basically share power in the region, splitting territory, military forces and parliamentary powers between them: the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP.