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.

 

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

Gunmen storm South Sudan UN base killing 20

Malaysia activists: Obama you are not welcome here!

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa

Undercover New York police unit that spied on Muslims disbanded

Washington will not issue visa for Iran UN envoy

British paedophile gets 20-year sentence in Morocco

Syria army fights its way into besieged Homs

Invisible Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’