KRG delegation arrives in Baghdad for talks on resuming oil exports

KRG delegation arrives in Baghdad for talks on resuming oil exports

Shaafq news / A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and associated oil companies arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for an official visit, following an invitation from the Iraqi Ministry of Oil.

Omid Sabah, Chief of Staff of KRG's Council of Ministers, stated to Shafaq News Agency that "the purpose of the visit is to continue discussions between KRG and Baghdad to establish a mechanism for resuming oil exports from the Region."

On June 5th, KRG's Council of Ministers issued a decision for a delegation from the Regional Government and oil companies to visit Baghdad. The talks, according to an official press release by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani's bureau, aim to overcome obstacles that have hindered oil exports since March 2023, causing significant financial losses for both the federal and Regional Governments.

The PM reiterated the KRG's commitment to reaching a "comprehensive and balanced agreement" based on Iraq's permanent constitution.

Such an agreement would see oil exported through the federal State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) with revenues deposited in the national treasury.

KRG has previously stressed its autonomy over its oil resources, leading to long-standing tensions with Baghdad. However, the statement suggests a willingness to compromise to resume exports.

On May 28, Iraq's oil ministry called for meeting "as soon as possible" with the Kurdistan Region's Ministry of Natural Resources and international companies operating there to reach a deal on resuming oil exports via a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Traffic via the Iraqi-Turkish oil pipeline, which once handled about 0.5% of global oil supply has been halted, stuck in legal and financial limbo, since March 2023, and talks to resume the exports have stalled.

The sharing of oil revenues between Iraq's federal government and the Region has been a cause of tensions between the two sides.

Flows through the pipeline were halted after the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce in a longstanding arbitration case ruled Ankara had violated provisions of a 1973 treaty by facilitating such exports without the consent of the Iraqi federal government.

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