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Iraqi Official Claims Kurdistan Oil Exports Could Restart Within Days

Crude oil exports from the Kurdistan region in Iraq are expected to resume soon, an Iraqi member of parliament told local news agency Rudaw.

The comments come amid continuing negotiations between the Kurdish government and the central Iraqi government regarding the terms of oil exports after these got suspended almost a month ago.

The suspension followed a court ruling that found Turkey in violation of agreements concerning the export of crude oil from Kurdistan, which stipulated the express agreement of the government in Baghdad.

In addition to Baghdad seeking compensation from Ankara for the violation, exports of Kurdish oil were suspended until further notice.

The governments in Erbil and Baghdad meanwhile reached an agreement about the resumption of exports but details remained to be hammered out, keeping the oil from flowing.

The sticking point, as always, was who gets more control over the oil revenues. Kurdistan has had to make some concessions in this respect to Baghdad in order to restart oil exports.

“He [Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani] said that they are trying to complete the administrative and technical procedures so that the oil can flow in the next one or two days,” deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament Shakhawan Abdullah told Rudaw.

The suspension of exports via the pipeline from Kurdistan to Turkey led to the shutdown of oil fields in the northern Iraqi region for lack of storage capacity and pushed global oil prices higher.

Kurdistan exports some 450,000 barrels of crude to Turkey on a daily basis. It is the biggest source of revenue for the semi-autonomous region and any disruption of oil flows effectively disrupts Kurdistan’s economy.

According to Abdullah, the Iraqi government is now waiting for Turkey’s final say in the negotiations before exports of crude from Kurdistan are restarted.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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