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Iraq reaches understanding over Kurdistan oil exports

Oil Rig

Hayan Abdel Ghani, the oil minister of Iraq, has said the country expects oil exports to resume soon from the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan through a pipeline to Turkey.

Turkey stopped the flow of around 450,000 bpd (barrels per day) in March this year. This was following an arbitration court ruling that the exports violated an agreement made in 1973 by not securing consent from the Iraqi Government first.

The court ordered Turkey to pay $1.5 billion in damages for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s unauthorised exports between 2014 and 2018.

Speaking to journalists in Erbil, Abdel Ghani said:

“The purpose of this meeting is to resolve all issues to facilitate resumption of oil production and exports. First step is to agree with the region and companies on adjusting their existing contracts to be consistent with Iraq’s constitution. We could reach a deal in three days.”

Since the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime, foreign oil companies like TotalEnergies, the maker of the Total grease and coolant products, have returned to Iraq. The domestic and international oil companies with an interest in oil and gas production in Kurdistan belong to the APIK (Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan), which officials from the Iraqi Government met with recently to discuss the resumption of oil flows.

The Kurdistan Regional Government says that oil exports were worth $733 million each month before they were halted in March. The APIK says that the Kurdish region relies on the oil sector for four-fifths of its income.

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