Monday, 20 September 2010
Iraqi Kurds prohibited to use Iraq-Turkey pipeline
Iraq's Oil Minister Hussain Al-Shahristani has signed and agreement with Turkey prohibiting Iraqi Kurds to export oil internationally without central government's approval. Under the agreement, Turkey is to bar the flow of Kurdish oil via the joint pipeline unless authorised by the Iraqi government.
The pipeline currently carries around 600, 000 barrels of Iraqi oil, from Kirkuk to the Turkish depot on the Mediterranean, and is the only available means for the Iraqi Kurds to export their oil to international markets.
According to national sources, the Kurds have the capacity to produce around 100,000 b/d, but have so far failed to reach an agreement with the central government about the use of the pipeline.
Several international oil companies have made deals with the Kurds to develop oil fields in their region. However, Iraqi government has made it clear that all such deals are deemed illegal since they were signed without the government's approval.
For more news and expert analysis about Iraq, please see Iraq Focus.