MESOP INVESTIGATION : OIL & CORRUPTION IN KURDISTAN IRAQ – Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil, gas exports can satisfy 50% of Turkey’s demands: MP
SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ)
31 July 2017 – HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— A lawmaker from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Dilshad Shaaban, said the referendum for a Kurdish state will not result in the closure of Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s borders with neighboring countries.
The independence referendum will result in a stronger relationship between the Kurdistan region and Turkey, Shaaban said. He is a member of the Energy and Water Resources Committee in the Kurdistan Parliament.
“Holding the referendum will not have a negative impact on the economic relationship between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region, but rather it strengthens the bilateral relation,” the KDP official told Turkey’s state-run news outlet, Anadolu Agency.
Iraqi Kurdistan is now capable of exporting oil and gas to Turkey, which is able to satisfy more than 50 percent of the country’s demand, he added.
The exchange business between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region continued and is worth $8 billion U.S. dollars per year, according to Shaaban.
There are more than 52 oil companies operating in the Kurdistan Region’s oil fields and more than 20 additional oil reserves are ready to operate, he continued.
Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) signed a 50-year energy deal which resumed the flow of Kurdish oil to international markets, despite the federal government’s demands for an immediate halt to sales.
The details of the energy agreement struck between the KRG and Turkey have remained a secret ever since it was declared by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani during a parliament session in June, 2014.
Lawmakers and political figures have previously criticized the KRG and accused the government of not being transparent with oil exports and revenues.
Kurdistan considered as the most corrupted part of Iraq. Members of the Kurdistan Parliament have claimed that millions of dollars have gone missing from the region. The region’s Ministry of Natural Resources has rebutted those accusations as unfounded.
A Kurdish lawmaker said in March 2017 the amount of $1.266 billion from oil exports and Iraqi Kurdistan’s revenue has gone missing over the last three months.
Iraqi Kurdistan officials including Massoud Barzani clan, Jalal Talabani family and PUK leaders have long been accused by the opposition and observers of corruption or taking government money.