First Published: 2013-01-29

 

Oil exports flow from Kurdish region despite Baghdad threats

 

Iraq's top energy official repeats claim that country's autonomous Kurdish region is ‘illegally’ exporting oil.

 

Middle East Online

‘Oil is still being illegally exported to Turkey’

BAGHDAD - Iraq's top energy official repeated claims on Tuesday that the country's autonomous Kurdish region was "illegally" exporting oil, the latest in a long-running dispute between the two sides.

The remarks from Hussein al-Shahristani, the deputy prime minister responsible for energy affairs, come as the central government in Baghdad and Kurdish authorities in Arbil tussle over a disputed oil exploration deal with ExxonMobil and a row over energy contracts.

"Oil is still being illegally exported to Turkey," Shahristani said at a news conference in Baghdad, referring to Kurdish transportation of oil to Turkey in exchange for refined crude products.

Baghdad insists the central government retains the sole right to export crude and has threatened to sue companies that transport oil out of the three-province northern region.

Arbil, however, says it has the right to sign contracts independent of Baghdad's authority.

Shahristani also said Baghdad had transferred $540 million to Kurdistan to pay foreign energy companies working in the region, but claimed Arbil had not fulfilled its side of a September 2012 deal by upping exports.

Arbil, however, says it has slashed oil exports because Baghdad has not transferred all of the promised funds.

The two sides are at odds over issues including Kurdistan's refusal to seek central government approval for oil contracts it has awarded to foreign firms, and over a swathe of disputed territory in northern Iraq.

The central government regards all oil deals that did not go through the national oil ministry as illegal.

 

US accuses Iraq forces lacking will to fight IS

Blow to Yemen peace efforts as UN conference postponed

Saudi king vows to punish those behind bombing at Shiite mosque

Fukushima nuclear plant wins Qatar contract

Al-Azhar pleads for protection of Syria ancient city

Weakened by war, Syria regime appears ready for ‘de facto partition’

Iran army ‘needs bigger budget to counter IS’

Saudi Shiites refuse to be provoked by deadly mosque bombing

Iran denies agreement on inspection of military sites

Emirati aid shipment arrives in Yemen port city of Aden

GCC denies air campaign against IS terrorists has failed

Tripoli leaders use migrant issue as they yearn for recognition

‘Islamic State’ takes full control of Iraq-Syria border crossing

Sudan's Islamists protest against el-Sisi

Saudi mosque attack intended to fan sectarian tension

Islamic State claims Saudi mosque bombing

Israel solicits Platini to sway FIFA

Islamic State reinforces ‘caliphate’ with control of borders

Israeli deputy FM: 'All of it is ours'

Iraqi forces to launch Ramadi offensive

Tunis asks Rome to extradite terror suspect

Suicide bomb attack on Saudi Shiite mosque

Saudi-led coalition warplanes pound Sanaa outskirts

Shebab gunmen raid Kenya village

Kuwait businessman Khorafi dies at 75

IS fighters attack Iraq forces east of Ramadi

Obama offers Tunisia closer security ties

Yemen air strikes continue as Iran calls for talks

Israeli court orders release of Khalida Jarrar

Netanyahu meets with Arab leader Ayman Odeh

U.S. sanctions two companies linked to Iran's plane purchases

Iran supports Yemen talks, denounces foreign interference

IS militants call for attacks on Egypt's judges

11 killed in fresh Libya violence

Assad regime losses in Syria

Obama looks to bolster Tunisia's democratic gains

Turkey opposition unveils plan to build new 'mega-city' in Anatolia

Iraqi prime minister seeks Russian support against Islamic State

Iraq's Sunni tribes feel distrust towards Baghdad after Ramadi fall

Morocco illegal migrant arrest fuels Italy row

Qatar ‘failing to deliver’ on promised labour reforms

US to sell bombs, missiles to Israel, helicopters to Saudis

IS jihadists in full control of Syria's Palmyra

Yemen government wants rebel pullback before joining Geneva talks

Morocco King names four new ministers in second reshuffle