June 1, 2023

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Final Agreement Between Iraq and Turkey Needed to Resume Oil Exports to Kurdistan.

2 min read
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Iraq is still waiting for a “final agreement” with Turkey to resume Kurdistan’s oil exports, as announced by the autonomous region’s government more than a month after it ended.

The announcement comes after days of speculation as Iraqi Oil Minister Hayan Abdul Ghani announced last week that re-exports would begin on May 13, before officials in Erbil said Iraq was still awaiting a response from Turkey to a request to resume exports.

In a statement last night Sunday, Kurdistan Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said, “The Kurdistan Regional Government has fulfilled all of its commitments based on the agreement and is awaiting a final agreement between the federal government and the Turkish government.” the government will resume oil exports from Kurdistan,” Agence France-Presse reports.

And after the Kurdistan region exported its oil through Turkey without returning to the Baghdad government, the federal government resorted to arbitration proceedings with neighboring Turkey in 2014 at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.

This year, an arbitration court ruled in favor of Baghdad, a decision that has resulted in the suspension of exports since the end of March last year, and also ordered Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, to negotiate with the government in Baghdad. .

The two sides have agreed to work together on this file, and under the terms of the agreement between Baghdad and Erbil, the sale of oil from Kurdistan must go through the Iraqi State Oil Company (SOMO), and not exclusively through the local Kurdish authorities. The agreement also provides for the deposit of proceeds from Kurdish exports. on an account run by the local authorities of Kurdistan and controlled by Baghdad.

Stopping exports during this period resulted in losses of about “one billion dollars”, according to oil expert Kovind Shervani, as oil was the region’s economic lung for over a decade, which exported 475,000 barrels a day through the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

In early May, the Iraqi Oil Minister spoke about the reasons for the delay in the resumption of exports, referring, in particular, to “tests carried out by the Turkish side of the pipelines” to avoid possible oil leaks after the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey in February last year.

On the other hand, there are still fines that Ankara must pay to the Iraqi authorities, according to the oil minister.

An agreement signed in 1973 between Ankara and Baghdad to regulate the use of oil pipelines and exports specified $1.19 for transporting each barrel through Ceyhan, but Kurdistan paid “much more than this amount,” according to the minister, adding: “Therefore, we we believe that this additional money is being returned to the Iraqi government.

In an interview with France Press, a senior oil ministry official, who asked not to be named, said Turkey could face more than $1.8 billion in fines.

In late March, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez denied that his country should pay $1.4 billion in compensation to Iraq, according to a statement released by Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency.

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