Iraq sets three conditions for Erbil oil export to Turkey

16-12-2013 – Kurdpress – Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani said Iraq will Kurdistan Region to export oil to Turkey provided that the self-ruling region will accept Baghdad’s conditions.

The quantities of Iraqi oil exported to Turkey must be known to the central government, oil must be sold at international market prices and that revenues from oil sales must be channeled to the account of the Iraq Development Fund in New York in line with of previous UN Security Council resolutions, Shahristani said, adding that the central government in Baghdad should not be marginalized in any such agreements.

“We support and seek to increase our oil and future natural gas exports to Turkey,” al-Shahristani told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.

“This is something that we seek to achieve,” he asserted.

The Turkish government has signed a package of oil and natural gas deals with Iraqi Kurdish administration. The deals will bring Iraqi oil and natural gas to international markets via pipelines that cross Turkish territory. A Turkish company would start working on 13 different sites in the Iraqi Kurdish region.

An oil and natural gas pipeline in the region would help raise oil exports from the region to a million barrels a year. Exports are due to commence in 2017.

Reacting to reports that the central government had restricted visits by Turkish officials to the Kurdish region, al-Shahristani said foreign officials need to get permission from the central government first. “Any foreign official seeking to visit any part of Iraq on an official visit must contact the Foreign Ministry first,” he explained. “Iraq does not allow planes carrying foreign officials to cross its borders without official permission from the Foreign Ministry,” he added. The deputy premier said the central government was keen to deliver the same message to Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz during his recent visit. He said the Baghdad government told Yildiz that he was most welcome in the capital first and then he was free to visit any region in Iraq. “This applies to all foreign officials who visit our country on a formal visit,” al-Shahristani said.