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NewsOil Minister: Iraq ready to resume North oil exports

Oil Minister: Iraq ready to resume North oil exports

Turkey is holding presidential elections on Sunday, a move that some observers say could delay the resumption of oil flows. Turkey’s energy ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the possibility of resuming oil flows, according to Reuters.

Abdul-Ghani said in an interview with the agency on Friday that Iraq was ready to pump 485,000 barrels a day, including 400,000 barrels from the Kurdistan region and between 75,000 and 85,000 from the Kirkuk oil fields.

On March 25, Turkey stopped pumping 450,000 barrels a day of northern oil exports through the pipeline, after a ruling in an arbitration case by the International Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Commerce has ordered Turkey to pay Baghdad $1.5 billion in compensation for allowing the Kurdistan Regional Government to illegally export oil from 2014 to 2018.

Abdul-Ghani said payment of compensation was not up for discussion with Turkey, but sources told Reuters earlier that Turkey was seeking to negotiate such compensation and wanted a final solution to the dispute. other open arbitration cases before resuming flows.

Abdul-Ghani added that the halt in oil flows in March coincided with a request by Turkey to examine the pipeline and storage tanks for any damage caused by the February 6 earthquake.

He said Iraq was waiting for a response from Turkey regarding the completion of inspection and maintenance processes.

Iraq’s request to resume oil flows, starting on Saturday, reached the Turkish energy company BOTAŞ, after dealers buying crude from the Kurdistan region signed new contracts with the Iraqi national oil company. petroleum marketing (SOMO).

Abdulghani said the KRG had agreed to allow SOMO to market its crude oil and set prices according to the same formula SOMO uses for its oil. Three informed sources said that the proceeds of its export will be deposited in a regional government bank account with Citi Bank in the United Arab Emirates, and that Baghdad will be able to carry out audits.

SOMO has also entered into contracts with buyers of KRG crude. One of the three sources said that the contracts concluded recently have a validity period of three months, but that they do not cover the large debt owed by the Kurdistan Regional Government to the trading companies.

Bassem Muhammad, Undersecretary to the Minister of Petroleum for Extractive Affairs, told Reuters that the issue of Kurdistan Regional Government debts will be discussed with the region through the Ministries of Petroleum and Finance.

He added that the Iraqi government is serious about reaching an agreement satisfactory to both parties.

A source said earlier that oil-producing countries in the region have asked the KRG to prioritize debt repayment and establish transparent and regular payment terms for any new investment and maximum export flow. once the pipeline resumes.

Abdul-Ghani said Iraq was working to address issues facing international oil companies that lead to production delays and additional costs, such as long wait times for permits to be issued. entry for employees and customs clearance procedures.

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Arab Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Arab Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on easternherald.com.

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