Turkey assures Iraq over oil exports

Photo:  Turkey assures Iraq over oil exports  / Turkey

Energy Minister Taner Yildiz has assured Baghdad over oil exports from the Kurdish region to Turkey, rejecting claims that oil has been exported without the consent of the central government Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Iraq has threatened to boycott Turkish companies and cancel contracts after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) last month announced its first shipment of crude sent directly to Turkey, without passing through pipelines controlled by Baghdad, had gone on sale, with more expected to follow.

Baghdad argues that all oil sales must be overseen by the central government and regards any independent exports tantamount to smuggling.

"Even if a barrel of oil had passed through Ceyhan, Baghdad would have been informed of this and a daily receipt would have been given to the central government noting how much of a sale was made," Yildiz said in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri on Feb. 15.

"This is Iraq's oil, not Turkey's. Thus Baghdad will be informed, because it is an issue related to Iraq's income. So far, there has not been any oil that has gone through Ceyhan, but this does not mean it won't be transferred in future. We'll share all information with Baghdad," Yildiz said, adding a total of 425,000 barrels of oil are in Ceyhan.

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