Turkey a guarantor for energy peace in Iraq, says Genel Energy President
LONDON – Anadolu Agency
Arbil aims to pipe 1 billion barrels of oil to Turkey, says the head of Genel Energy Mehmet Sepil. REUTERS photoTurkey is a guarantor for energy peace between Baghdad and Arbil, according to the head of an international energy company operating in Iraq.
A dispute between Baghdad and Arbil over the sale of oil has turned into an international legal wrangle in recent years, as the Iraqi government brought a lawsuit against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in foreign courts. However, the two sides signed a temporary agreement to settle the oil dispute last week, clearing the way for a permanent settlement to be enacted in a joint hydrocarbon law.
“Turkey is a natural guarantor for energy peace between Baghdad and Arbil,” said Mehmet Sepil, President of Genel Energy, one of the biggest international energy companies operating in Iraq.
Sepil said the oil produced in northern Iraq can only come through Turkey, whether it be Kurdish oil or oil from the central government in Baghdad, hence Turkey will guarantee peace.
“Turkey said the oil being sold is for the good of all of Iraq, and now this situation is being realized. If the oil was not sold, the recent agreement between Baghdad and northern Iraq would never have been signed,” he added.
He noted that Iraqi oil, regardless of whether it is controlled by Baghdad or by the KRG, can only be piped to Turkey through the Kurdish region because the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) controls all other pipelines in the country.
Genel Energy has been steadily increasing its oil production since 2007. It produces 130,000 barrels of oil per day in the Taq Taq oil field, while the amount produced in the Tawke oil field is 110,000 barrels per day, said Sepil.
“Our target for next year is to increase the total combined production of the two fields to 350,000 barrels per day. We expect a significant rise in our production,” he said.
He added KRG oil is highly sought after in international markets and demand is high, with the total amount of oil in the pipelines having already been sold.
“The KRG aims to reach 1 billion barrels of oil piped to Turkey through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline,” Sepil said. “The capacity of the pipeline can easily be increased to 750,000 barrels per day.”
The current daily capacity of the pipeline is 300,000 barrels of oil.
Genel Energy is the first Turkish company to be traded on the London Stock exchange. The company merged with English Vallares in 2011 and took the name “Genel Energy Plc.”