State’s oil firm ties with solely Baghdad
BATMAN - Anatolia News AgencyThe Turkish Petroleum Company (TPAO) needs to work with Baghdad in energy projects tied by four projects amounting to $25 billion, but BOTAŞ or private companies can work with Arbil, the head of the state-run petroleum company has said.
“The TPAO doesn’t have any projects in northern Iraq and the only Iraqi projects have been conducted with central government,” Mehmet Uysal, director general of the TPAO said yesterday.
Uysal emphasized that TPAO’s projects with Baghdad would continue, as it has been a partner in a total of four projects in Iraq and the project manager in one of them. The TPAO is responsible for $5 billion in these four projects, which are worth $25 billion in total, he said.
He also said he did not foresee any problems with the Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) or any other private companies’ operation in northern Iraq, or them making deals with the Kurdish Regional Authority, but he stressed that the TPAO needed to stick with Baghdad.
Turkey has been keeping its ties with Kurdish authority in Arbil close, despite the objections of the Baghdad government, which claims that Arbil’s energy deals outside the authority of the central government are illegal.
Seismic ship to head north
In his remarks, Uysal also announced that Turkey’s new $130 million seismic ship would be departing for the Black Sea on Feb. 23, in order to conduct drilling in the region, according to the government’s agreement with international oil company Shell.
Last week, the Turkish energy minister had implied that the ship might head to the Mediterranean if they saw the emergence of any priority with Greek Cyprus’ joint oil exploration operations with international energy companies.