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.

 

Palestinians protest one year after teenager burned alive

Fighting rages in Yemen’s Aden

Egypt government adopts anti-terror law

British FM: 'No breakthrough yet' in Iran nuclear talks

Iraq Christians train for jihad against IS

Egypt vows to wipe out 'dens of terror'

Tunisia arrests eight in connection with beach massacre

Youth in Tunisia 'ripe for radicalisation'

UN sends mission to 'assess' South Sudan atrocities

Syria urges citizens to enlist

AQAP step up campaign to eradicate qat

UN imposes first sanctions on six South Sudan generals

Libya rival governments will not return to peace talks

Kurds warn Turkey against any ‘aggression’ in Syria

Kuwait makes DNA tests mandatory after suicide bombing

Kuwait parliament approves deficit budget on oil slide

Pro-Erdogan candidate becomes new speaker of Turkey parliament

‘War’ in Sinai Peninsula as clashes with ISIS fighters rage on

All 38 victims of Tunisia beach massacre identified

36 killed in wave of IS attack on Egyptian soldiers

Iran vs. Israel gets cartoon treatment

IAEA chief to fly to Iran for nuclear talks

Saudi prince pledges fortune to charity

Syria Kurds regain full control of Tal Abyad

Palestinian PM to make 'temporary' cabinet reshuffle

20 civilians killed in rebel fire on Yemen's Aden

Iran nuclear talks go into extra time

Gulf states urged to follow Kuwait on maid rights

Yemen rebels free 1,200 prisoners

Negotiators extend deadline for Iran nuclear talks

‘Islamic State’ re-enters Syria border town of Tal Abyad

Defiant tourists stay in Tunisia

Deadly clashes rage on in eastern Libya

Only mobile phone company in Gaza closed by Hamas

Zarif keeps cards close to chest as he meets Kerry

Orange reaches deal with Israel's Partner after spat

Kuwait in ‘state of war’ after mosque suicide bombing

Iranians take to streets of Tehran to demand ‘good nuclear deal’

Turkey 'ready to help' Greece out of economic crisis

Sisi pledges tougher laws against militants after prosecutor killing

French prosecutor confirms IS link to factory beheading

Tunisia ‘was not prepared’ for beach massacre

Tunisia makes first beach massacre arrests

Tunisia attack set to wipe $500 million off economy

IS beheads two female ‘sorcerers’ in Syria