Iraq files complaint against Turkey over Kurd oil exports
BAGHDAD - Agence France Presse
AP PhotoBaghdad took legal action against Turkey May 23 after Ankara announced that oil from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region was being exported to international markets, a move that could badly strain ties.
The oil ministry said it has "filed a request for arbitration against the Republic of Turkey and its state-owned pipeline operator BOTAŞ... with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris."
"By transporting and storing crude oil from Kurdistan, and by loading that crude oil onto a tanker in Ceyhan, all without the authorization of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, Turkey and BOTAŞ have breached their obligations under the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline Agreement," it said in a statement.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told reporters earlier that shipments of oil pumped from the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq and stored in Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan began on Thursday night.
The exports via Turkey came in defiance of Baghdad, which insists its federal oil ministry must approve all sales, a key point of tension between the central government and Kurdish authorities.
A Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Ankara had not been informed of Iraq's decision to take legal action.