Iraqi Kurdistan oil manufacturers negate restart agreement for Iraqi-Turkey pipeline


(MENAFN) Oil producers working in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region have refuted claims suggesting the existence of an agreement to restart oil exports via the vital Iraqi-Turkey pipeline, which had been shut down approximately a year ago.

The Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (Apikur) clarified on Saturday that there hasn't been any consensus reached among the Iraqi government, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and international oil companies regarding the resumption of oil exports through the pipeline.

Apikur's statement emphasizes the absence of a formal agreement involving key stakeholders in the region's oil industry. This denial contradicts earlier reports indicating the potential reopening of the Iraqi-Turkey pipeline for oil exports.

Member companies “would welcome the reopening of ITP”, it stated.

“Regrettably, to date, we have not even seen any proposals” from the Iraqi government or the Kurdistan Regional Government for the agreements that would be required to do so, it further mentioned.

The association comprises international oil and gas companies with either direct or indirect interests in upstream oil or gas contracts within Iraq's Kurdistan region. Many of these companies have had to halt production due to the closure of the pipeline.

Apikur's contradiction follows Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein's statement to a UK-based news agency on Saturday, indicating ongoing discussions among oil companies, the Iraqi government in Baghdad, and the Kurdistan Regional Government to resume crude oil exports via Turkey.

Hussein mentioned the possibility of Iraq amending its federal budget to cover recovery and transit fees owed to international oil companies, aiming to restart the crucial oil pipeline after a year of closure.

Since March 2023, the closure of the Iraq-Turkey pipeline has resulted in a reduction of approximately half a million barrels of crude oil per day from global markets, as reported by the news agency.

Turkey suspended oil flows through the pipeline, which transported 450,000 barrels per day, following an arbitration court's ruling that Ankara had violated a 1973 agreement by permitting Kurds to pump oil without Iraqi consent.

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