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Iraq to reach deal soon on resuming oil production from its Kurdish region: Minister

Iraqi oil minister and KRG prime minister meet to discuss months-long suspension of oil exports

Bekir Aydoğan  | 13.11.2023 - Update : 13.11.2023
Iraq to reach deal soon on resuming oil production from its Kurdish region: Minister

ERBIL, Iraq 

Iraqi Oil Minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani said Sunday that he expects to reach an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and foreign oil companies on resuming oil production from the region within three days.

Speaking during a visit to the region’s capital, Erbil, he said Iraq had also reached an “understanding” with Türkiye on resuming northern oil exports through the Iraq-Türkiye pipeline.

Abdel-Ghani and his delegation met with KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani to discuss the months-long suspension of oil exports, according to a statement released by Iraq's Oil Ministry.

It underscored the Iraqi government's willingness to find suitable mechanisms for restarting production and exports from the region.

The KRG Prime Ministry's statement cited Barzani as saying that “the halt of oil exports has caused billions of dollars in losses to the public treasury and must be resumed as soon as possible.”

Abdel-Ghani expressed his intention to discuss the resumption of oil production with the KRG and foreign oil companies, hoping to reach an agreement within "two or three days," the Erbil-based Rudaw News Agency reported.

He said that in the second stage, there will be an agreement with Turkish officials on oil exports via the Iraq-Türkiye pipeline and there is already a consensus on this matter.

Safeen Dizayee, the head of the KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations, said on Aug. 29 that Iraq had suffered around $5.5 billion in losses due to the halt in the region’s oil exports through Türkiye's Ceyhan port since March.

Dizayee expressed both Türkiye and the KRG’s desire for the resumption of oil exports, noting that although Baghdad claims its readiness to do so, no practical steps had been taken yet.

The flow of oil from Iraq to Ceyhan port was halted following a decision on March 23 by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on oil exports between Türkiye and Iraq.

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