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Talks to resume oil exports from northern Iraq are progressing

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – The Iraqi Minister of Oil, Hayan Abdul-Ghani, said that progress has been made in talks with officials from the Kurdistan region of Iraq and representatives of international oil firms regarding an agreement to resume oil exports to the Turkish port of Ceyhan through the Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline.

In an interview with the state-owned Al-Iraqiya TV channel, Abdul-Ghani explained that progress has been made and an understanding will be reached within the next few days.

Since March 2023, crude oil flows along the Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline, which formerly transported around 0.5 percent of the world’s oil supply, have been suspended due to legal and financial uncertainty.

Abdul-Ghani and officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) met on Sunday in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, after an invitation was sent by the Iraqi Oil Ministry last month to the Kurdish authorities and international oil firms to discuss the resumption of oil exports from northern Iraq.

A senior official in the Ministry of Oil told Reuters that it is still too early to say that a final agreement has been reached. “But we can say that the meeting has many positive aspects,” the official indicated.

One of the main sources of conflict between the federal government in Baghdad and the KRG is the distribution of oil revenues.

After the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris decided in March 2023 that Ankara had broken a 1973 treaty by enabling oil exports without the federal government’s approval, flows via the Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline were stopped.

In early June, the Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (APIKUR) refuted recent media reports that incorrectly attribute the ongoing dispute over the resumption of oil exports via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline to the inflexibility of foreign oil firms.

Since January 2024, there haven’t been any coordinated talks between foreign oil firms, officials from the Iraqi government, and the KRG.

Foreign oil companies operating in Iraqi Kurdistan have halted production, and shipments have not yet resumed despite multiple discussions between officials in Iraqi Kurdistan, the federal government in Baghdad, and Turkish authorities.

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