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Iraq oil minister reports progress in talks with Kuridsh officials on northern exports

Tuesday, 11 June 2024 | 16:00

Iraq’s Oil Minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani said there has been progress in talks with Kurdistan region officials and representatives of international companies operating there for a deal to resume oil exports via a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

“We have a progress in today’s talks and we expect to reach an understanding in (a) few days,” Abdel-Ghani said in an interview with the state owned Iraqiya TV on Sunday.

The Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline that once handled about 0.5% of global oil supplies has been stuck in limbo for more than a year after its closure, as legal and financial hurdles impede the resumption of flows from the region.

Sunday’s meeting in Baghdad, attended by Iraq’s oil minister Hayan Abdul Ghani and officials from the Kurdistan region’s ministry of natural resources, comes after a call by Iraq’s oil ministry last month for Kurdish authorities and international energy companies to meet and discuss restarting the exports.

“The meeting is still going on to discuss issues that prevent the resumption of oil exports,” said a senior oil ministry official on condition on anonymity due to the sensitivity of talks. “It’s still early to say a final deal is possible to reach but we can say the talks have positive aspects.”

The talks are expected to focus on the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) production-sharing energy contracts, which Baghdad wants to amend, and the oil production costs that the foreign oil companies claim for oil produced in the Kurdistan region, said the official.
Iraq had blamed foreign companies, alongside the Iraqi Kurdish authorities, for the delay in restarting crude exports because they had so far not submitted their contracts to the federal oil ministry for revisions.

It was not clear if the Kurdish delegates and the foreign firms have accepted the provision to the oil ministry of their contracts during Sunday’s meeting.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by David Holmes and Alexander Smith)

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