Iraq rejects Kurdistan’s oil export plan

Baghdad, Jan 11: Iraqi government has rejected a plan of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan to export two million barrels of crude oil via Turkey, terming such shipments as illegal.

“The Iraqi Ministry of Oil received with deep sorrow and astonishment the announcement of the ministry of natural resources of the Kurdistan region about selling two million barrels by the end of January, without the approval of the federal government,” Xinhua quoted the Iraqi oil ministry in a statement.

It also warned that all deals to purchase or sell crude oil or gas produced in Kurdistan and any other part of Iraq must be concluded with the Oil Marketing Company, otherwise these agreements are illegal.

“The official body which exclusively authorised export of hydrocarbon resources, including crude oil and gas, is the federal oil ministry, represented by Oil Marketing Company,” it said.

On Wednesday, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced that it started to flow crude oil through a new pipeline via Turkey and that its first exports are expected to begin at the end of this month.

It said that the monthly exports will increase later to 4 million barrels by the end of February, 6 million barrels by the end of March, and 10-12 million barrels in December.

According to the Iraqi constitution, all Iraqi oil revenues go through the central government in Baghdad and the Kurds receive 17 percent of the country’s annual budget. However, the Kurds frequently complain receiving less than their full entitlement.

IANS