Arbil to raise Turkey exports, bypass Baghdad
ARBIL - Anatolia News AgencyThe Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq’s north will bypass the central government in Baghdad in the international oil trade, by increasing direct crude sales to Turkey, a KRG official has said.
The KRG is sending 15,000 barrels of oil to Turkey on a daily basis, KRG Undersecretary of the Oil and Natural Gas Ministry, Ali Hussain Belu, told Anatolia news agency in an interview yesterday.
“If the Baghdad government does not pay the dues to the oil companies operating in the north, then we will increase the amount of oil sold to Turkey and with the money we receive from Turkey we will pay the dues to the oil companies,” Belu said.
The regional administration in the north of Iraq began exporting crude oil to Turkey with 150 tankers last month, after the Baghdad government failed to pay the dues to oil companies in the north of Iraq.
Crude of processed oil
The number of tankers carrying crude oil to Turkey and returning to northern Iraq carrying natural gas is estimated at 500.
“For many days now, we have been sending crude oil to Turkey in tankers. Our aim is to exchange crude oil with processed oil,” Belu stated.
“We will increase this amount to 20,000 barrels [per day] soon,” he said. “We have been forced to act like this due to the Baghdad government.”
According to an agreement signed between the Baghdad government and the KRG last September, the regional administration produces 200,000 barrels of oil. However, Belu claimed that “the Baghdad government did not keep its promise of paying the oil companies in the north.” Baghdad, meanwhile, claims that direct trade with the KRG violates the law and says it will take action.