Part of Kurdish oil money not paid yet, says Turkish energy minister
Neşe Karanfil ANKARA
KRG Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami told a conference in London on Dec. 17 that the Kurds’ pipeline to Turkey could carry 800,000 barrels per day next year, including 550,000 bpd to be marketed by Baghdad under a first-stage deal reached this month.Kurdish oil has been shipped by 39 oil tankers from Ceyhan but Iraqi Kurdish authorities have not yet paid all payments to Turkey’s Halkbank, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has told journalists.
“Part of the Kurdish oil money has not been paid yet by the Kurdish authorities. They say they need to take the money from the contracting parties to make the payment to us. We have said to them the money needs to be paid and transferred to Halkbank in accordance with our deal,” he said.
Yıldız noted the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said nothing as to whether they made payments to someone other than Halkbank.
“We asked the questions about the issue to them. They said they would pay some of the total money later as some of their deals required longer payment dues. We then told them that it is much better for us to see the money paid and transferred to Halkbank upon our deal. They found us right. They said nothing about whether the payment was made somewhere else. We just want the things to be made clearer. We are curious about whether the money was paid to another place. We believe the system we have insisted on is better although it is not legally binding. The 39th tanker was loaded and we see one tanker is loaded once every two days. We also see, however, that some of the money has not been paid yet,” he said.
He said he expected no more problems. “All oil is owned by Iraq at the end.”
There is no problem with oil shipping from the KRG, which has a deal with Baghdad, and the oil shipment is made in accordance with this deal as KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said in his last Ankara visit, he added.
“We all worked to maintain a system. A system has finally been maintained unless a new development happens,” he said.
KRG Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami told a conference in London on Dec. 17 that the Kurds’ pipeline to Turkey could carry 800,000 barrels per day next year, including 550,000 bpd to be marketed by Baghdad under a first-stage deal reached this month.
Hawrami said he was “hopeful for the first time” the long-running dispute over independent Kurdish oil sales could be resolved due to a “big change in attitude” under the new Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, who took office in September.
“The KRG will play its full role in helping Iraq to meet its energy export targets” in 2015, Hawrami said.
Turkey won’t quit EU membership or Russia ties
Yıldız also said a proposal for a gas pipeline project between Russia and Turkey to the European markets came from Russia.
“We are not a part of the South Stream, but the European Union and Russia are. What is interesting here is that the EU has complaints about the South Stream, although the EU is partnering the project,” he said.
“Bulgaria allowed the passage of the pipeline earlier, but canceled it later. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this was not good for Russia, and Russia found Turkey a reliable partner as it didn’t see such ebbs and flows with Turkey. For the proposed gas pipeline project from Russia to Turkey, we are all at the very beginning. Russia’s Gazprom and Turkey’s BOTAŞ will make assessment works. Then, we will present the results of our work to each other,” he said.
Yıldız also said Turkey would cease the membership process to the EU or its relations with Russia.
TPAO should be privatized in gradual manner
Yıldız also said the privatization process of Turkey’s Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) would be made in a gradual manner.
“It will be better to first publicly offer or sell around 15 percent of TPAO, then increase this percentage up to 51 percent in a gradual manner, I believe,” he said.