Iraq: Kurdistan Regional Government wants to expand oil exports to Turkey

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The Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq announced to increase its oil exports to Turkey to 900 000 barrels per day by the end of 2015, according to an official of the Kurdish Parliament in Arbil on Tuesday.

Dilshad Shaban, Deputy Chairman of the Oil and Gas Committee of the Kurdish Parliament, stated in an interview to the Anatolia news agency that: „Including the oil from Kirkuk, we transport 700 000 barrel per day to Turkey and we think that the export will rise to 900 000 barrels per day by the end of this year.”

Overlooking the Iraqi central government in Baghdad, Shaban calculated that around 150 000 barrels of oil will be pumped from Kirkuk to the Turkish port city of Ceyhan for international resale, on behalf of the Iraqi state oil company SOMO.
He stressed that the Kurdistan Regional Government wants to continue to sell their oil independently to foreign countries, due to the budget problems of the central government in Baghdad.

“The central government of Iraq does not stick to our agreement by not paying the agreed-upon percentage of the total budget to us,” complained Shaban. He added that Baghdad refuses to pay the budget as a tool to suppress Arbil.

According to the agreement, Baghdad would have to pay 17 percent of the national household of Iraq to the Kurdish autonomous region. In return, Baghdad would receive part of the income through oil-sells from the Kurdish Regional Government.

The end of the payments resulted in a liquidity crisis of the Kurdish government, leading to new efforts to resell oil to the Turkish government at own expense.

“I do not think that the government of Baghdad will return to its agreement and pay 11 billion US Dollars to the Kurdish region,” concluded Shaban.



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