Iraqi oil minister says talks continue with Kurds on oil exports

Flames emerge from a pipeline at the oil fields in Basra, southeast of Baghdad, Iraq October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani

Baghdad ( Iraq’s oil minister has said his government maintains talks with Kurdistan Region over resuming oil exports from Kirkuk fields through Turkish Cyhan port.

Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi told semi-official al-Sabaah newspaper that “talks between the federal government, Kurdistan region and the Turkish side continue for resuming exports of Kirkuk’s oil through Ceyhan”. He noted that “the decision to resume exports is contingent on the outcome of discussions, and the exporting capacity will determine the timing”.

Baghdad is anxious to continue talks with Erbil over the issue to make use of the pipeline extending from Kurdistan to Ceyhan, after the pipeline extending from Kirkuk to Turkey sustained damages from recurrent terrorist attacks over the past years.

Luaibi said current production from Kirkuk stands at “220.000 barrels per day”, adding that “the production is totally transferred to local refineries”.

Production from Kirkuk’s fields was stalled since October 2017, when Iraqi forces took over the province following a controversial referendum the region held in September, in which a majority voted for independence from Iraq.

On Sunday, the Iraqi oil ministry said exports from southern fields stood at 3.521 million barrels per day, a slight increase from May, adding that exports from Kirkuk remained at a halt.

Iraq is OPEC’s second largest oil producer.


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