Test flows for northern Iraqi oil have been completed up to Ceyhan, Turkey's southern coastal district of the Mediterranean Adana province, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz has said, adding that oil flow would start following the tests, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
"Both the corrosion and test efforts for the northern Iraqi oil were completed at first step up to Silopi [a district of Turkish southeastern province of Shirnak]. Now, it has been completed until Ceyhan. Oil flow will begin after these," Yildiz said during a meeting with the Turkish Construction Employers' Union (İNTES) yesterday.
Iraq is keen to see oil shipped via pipeline from the northern Kurdish region but any exports must be approved by Baghdad, Deputy Prime Minister for energy Hussain al-Shahristani said, after flows on the pipeline started on Dec. 17.
Yildiz stated that he welcomed the remarks of Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani appreciating recent agreements between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdish administration on oil and natural gas exports to Turkey, provided that the central government in Baghdad is not marginalized in any such agreements.
Yildiz also expressed hope for the oil pipeline and the oil transfer to serve for the benefit of Iraq so as to enable a normalization, development in the country and increase in Iraq's national revenue.
In his early December visit to Iraq, Yildiz and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani reached a host of agreements and decided on setting up the commission in the aftermath of a major energy deal between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdish administration.
The deal involves the transfer of oil and natural gas via pipelines from Iraq to Turkey and Europe and is considered a springboard for the Iraqi Kurdish side to become an important energy supplier, while providing Ankara with an opportunity to diversify its foreign dependent energy portfolio.
Turkey also expressed its intention to move the process forward through a three-way mechanism including Ankara, Arbil and Baghdad, to be able to import energy sources from northern Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) via a new planned pipeline.