Turkey proposes monitoring Iraqi oil

Turkey proposes monitoring Iraqi oil

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey proposes monitoring Iraqi oil

Yıldız said Turkey rejects further reducing its oil imports from neighboring Iran, which is under U.S. sanctions over its nuclear program. AA photo

Ankara proposed a formula to both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and central government to build multi-billion dollar oil and gas pipelines to ship the autonomous region’s rich hydrocarbon reserves to world markets.

The proposal aims to tie oil and gas money to a Turkish state bank in accordance with the agreed share of %83 to the Iraqi central government and %17 to the KRG after measuring the amount of oil along with monitoring a commission, said the minister of energy, adding the parties in Iraq would then decide how to share the money.

Meeting with the Diplomatic Correspondent Associating yesterday, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız announced a proposal to purchase and transfer the KRG’s, with which Ankara maintains open dialogue, natural resources.

“We have to monitor the money. The rest is not our issue,” he said.

When asked if Ankara had the sides’ consent for the proposal, Yıldız said, “We know the Iraqi government’s concerns and we are building a structure to respond those concerns.”

The minister said he discussed the formula with the Iraqi Minister of Oil, Hussain al-Shahristani, who expressed Baghdad’s concern about the deal, and that Turkey will continue to discuss the proposal with Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

During a visit by the KRG’s Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani last week, both sides agreed on the fundamentals of the deals for a second oil pipeline and a gas route from the north of Iraq to Turkey.

Yıldız said he conveyed Turkey’s proposal to al-Shahristani before meeting with the Iraqi Kurdish official. Yıldız also noted the energy issue would not be on the agenda of the visit by Massoud Barzani, president of the KRG, because Turkey does not want the energy issue to “cast a shadow over the social feature” of the visit.

Turkey will measure the oil flow, the minister said, stressing the need for commission made up of representatives from the central government and/or the KRG, Turkish officials or international observers, which will give consent to the amount of flow.

Turkey will conduct energy deals with the KRG in 13 areas, the minister said. Some of these contacts will be carried by the Turkish Energy Company (TEC), which was set up by Ankara to be Turkey’s counterpart in dealings with the KRG or with partnerships of private companies, he added.

Turkey rejects further reduction of Iranian oil imports

Yıldız said Turkey rejects further reducing its oil imports from neighboring Iran, which is under U.S. sanctions over its nuclear program.

“We have reduced our imports to 105,000 barrels a day from 140,000 barrels. We cannot reduce it anymore,” Yıldız said.

Yıldız expressed Turkey’s will to make an energy cooperation agreement with the U.S., citing an upcoming visit by the U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to Turkey on Nov. 21. The minister also expressed that Turkey was ready to sign an agreement with the U.S. on shale gas.