Iraq ready to resume oil exports from Kurdistan Region

The Iraqi Oil Minister, Hayan Abdul-Ghani, stated that Iraq wants to resume oil exports from the Kurdistan region of Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, starting from Saturday, but it is waiting for Turkey’s approval, Reuters reported.

Experts say that Turkey’s presidential elections taking place on Sunday might postpone the resumption of oil exports, while the Turkish Energy Ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the possibility of resuming oil exports, according to Reuters.

Abdul-Ghani mentioned in an interview on Friday that Iraq is ready to pump 485,000 barrels per day, including 400,000 barrels from the Kurdistan region and between 75 thousand and 85 thousand from oil fields in Kirkuk.

On March 25, Turkey stopped pumping 450,000 barrels per day of Kurdistan oil following a ruling in an arbitration case issued by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The ICC ordered Turkey to pay Baghdad 1.5 billion USD in compensation for allowing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to illegally export oil.

The Iraqi Oil Minister stated that the compensation issue is not up for discussion, but sources told Reuters earlier that Turkey is seeking to negotiate the compensation and find final solutions to other arbitration cases before resuming oil flows.

Abdul-Ghani added that the suspension of oil flows in March coincided with a Turkish request to check the pipeline and the storage tanks for any damage caused by the devastating earthquake that hit southern Turkey and northern Syria last February.

The Iraqi official added that Iraq is waiting for a response from Turkey regarding the completion of the inspection and maintenance processes.

The Iraqi request to resume oil flows from Saturday took place after dealers buying crude from the Kurdistan region signed new contracts with the State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO).

News Code 159023

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