Oil trade with Arbil not illegal, minister says
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey buys oil from Iraq via a pipeline through southern Turkey. Hürriyet photo
Turkey has been heeding the sensitivity of the central Iraqi government concerning the dispute between Baghdad and Arbil on the right to export oil, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said yesterday in Ankara.
“How the sharing of the oil revenues will be arranged is outlined in Iraq’s own constitution,” Yıldız said, noting that the issue will become clearer with the adoption of the hydrocarbon law. His remarks came when asked whether he expected the Iraqi central government to block oil export to Turkey from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
“The main issue here is the fact that both the Iraqi central government and the Iraqi Kurdish regional administration need these revenues. Thus, we are conducting operations [with Baghdad and Arbil] similar to those we conduct with all neighboring countries in order to meet these demands. There is not any violation of law,” Yıldız said.
The KRG has begun sending oil produced in its three-province autonomous region out of the country without the permission of Baghdad, an official said over the weekend, according to an AFP report.