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.

 

OPEC agrees deal to cut oil output

US Congress overrides Obama's veto of Saudi 9/11 bill

UN warns 'hundreds' in Aleppo need medical evacuation

Amnesty accuses Sudan of using chemical arms against Darfur civilians

Palestinian president to attend Peres funeral

UN warns 700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

Saudi seeks oil leadership in economic pinch

Egypt court suspends block on island transfer to Saudi

Bid for international Yemen war probe fails at UN

King Abdullah visits home of murdered writer

Bahrain says 9/11 bill will harm US

9/11 bill puts US, Saudi cooperation in question

UN envoy says Syria talks 'very difficult with bombs falling'

Erdogan says Moody's was 'bought' after downgrade

Erdogan: Turkey may need state of emergency for more than a year

Iraqi activist wins Norway rights prize

Kidnapped German woman, baby freed in Syria

Turkey stops Kurdish TV broadcasts

A year of bombing in Syria triggers limited interest in Russia

Obama defends refusal to use military force to end Syria civil war

Palestinians react to death of Peres

Poverty takes toll in rebel-held Yemen fishing village

Kerry threatens to end negotiations with Russia on Syria

Kuwaiti court scraps petrol price hike

Iraq requests more US troops to take on IS in Mosul

Airstrikes hit hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo

Iran nuclear chief says not worried about Trump

Iranian, Italian ships hold manoeuvres in Strait of Hormuz

Gunmen kill three Egypt policemen, civilian in Sinai

Turkey says 32,000 coup suspects awaiting trial

Paris to host international meeting on Libya

Etihad plane in emergency landing in Abu Dhabi

Struggling Saudi Oger lays off 1,300 staff

Israel ex-PM to serve 27 months for graft

Syrian kids return to school in Manbij

World Bank releases $300 million for Syrian refugees in Jordan

UN Libya envoy warns against ‘political impasse’

Iranian FM in Ankara for Syria talks

Syrian army retakes rebel-held Aleppo district

Israeli ex-president Peres dies

Oil prices post marginal gains

Russia tries to strongarm US with Aleppo assault

Saudi petition seeks 'full' rights for women

Jordan vows crackdown on online incitement

Assad, Russia press intense Aleppo assault