Iraqi oil minister: waiting on final response from Turkey to resume exports

Iraqi oil minister: waiting on final response from Turkey to resume exports

Shafaq News/ Iraq's oil minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani said on Tuesday that Baghdad was waiting for Turkey's final answer to resume its northern oil exports through the port of Ceyhan.

Abdel-Ghani said Turkey told his government it was evaluating whether the pipeline was damaged due to the devastating February earthquake, and a technical team had been evaluating the situation.

In turn, the Kurdish Acting Minister of Natural Resources, Kamal Muhammad Salih, confirmed Abdel-Ghani's statement.

Salih appreciated the "positive relations" between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad concerning the oil issue. He further emphasized that all the differences between Erbil and Baghdad are being addressed and "moving toward a resolution."

Salih expressed optimism that the response from the Turkish side to the Federal Ministry of Oil regarding the resumption of oil exports from the Kurdistan Region will be forthcoming.

Turkey halted Iraq's 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of northern exports through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline on March 25 after an arbitration ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The 40 days of stoppage are estimated to have cost the KRG more than $1 billion.

The ICC ordered Turkey to pay Baghdad damages of $1.5 billion for unauthorized exports by the KRG between 2014 and 2018. The Iraq-Turkey pipeline had been exporting about 75,000 bpd of federal crude, with the remainder from the KRG.

Baghdad and the KRG signed a temporary agreement on April 4 to restart northern oil exports.

But efforts to restart flows face further setbacks as the two governments iron out several aspects of the deal.

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