Arbil seeks Turkey as bridge to EU gas market

Arbil seeks Turkey as bridge to EU gas market

Arbil seeks Turkey as bridge to EU gas market

The KRG’s minister Hawrami speaks of building an LNG facility in Turkey. REUTERS photo

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq has plans to sell its gas to Europe via Turkey and for a new crude pipeline project, according to Ashti Hawrami, the KRG energy minister.

The KRG, which eased tensions with the central government through an exports deal last week, also aims at supplying 15 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Turkey gradually, Reuters quoted the minister as saying in Istanbul, where he attended an energy meeting yesterday.

“Later we will consider two options, building a pipeline or an LNG [liquefied natural gas] facility in Turkey’s [city of] Ceyhan to send additional gas to Europe,” he said. “Iraq needs a new pipeline to Turkey to carry the oil produced by both northern Iraq and the central government.”

Following a recent deal between Baghdad and the KRG administration in Arbil, the payments to foreign companies operating in northern Iraq are to start being approved next week, he said. The deal, which takes effect next month, would allow the KRG to reach its 1 million barrels per day (bpd) target for 2015, he said.

Iraq pumps crude to Ceyhan, a southern spot currently fed by two pipelines. Iraq needs the third line to reach its exports target of 6 million to 7 million bpd, Hawrami said.

Separately, the Turkish Economy Ministry said in a statement yesterday that the Iraqi Trade Ministry has restarted registering new companies to operate in the county. The halt, which covered all foreign companies in the country, was due to technical requirements of the Iraqi ministry and was ended as of today, the statement read.