First Published: 2013-11-27

Iraq Kurdistan becomes Turkeys best option... to secure affordable energy supplies
Oil exports from Kurdistan could start next month and move risks aggravating tensions in powderkeg region and harming relations with Baghdad.
Middle East Online

Pipeline project is projected to carry up to 300,000 bpd

ANKARA - Oil exports from Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan to Turkey could start next month, the region's prime minister said, despite a dispute with Baghdad over how to divide the spoils from its energy resources.

Necirvan Barzani told reporters in Ankara late Tuesday that a pipeline from the Kurdish region could start carrying oil "before Christmas", without elaborating.

Barzani was due to meet Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Energy Minister Taner Yildiz on Wednesday for discussions about comprehensive energy deals between Ankara and Arbil.

The pipeline project to Turkey is projected to carry up to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Turkey, which is dependent on Russia and Iran to meet its growing energy needs, is seeking to secure affordable oil and gas supplies from elsewhere, with Kurdistan seen as the best option.

But the move risks aggravating tensions in the powderkeg region and harming relations with the central government in Baghdad, which is in dispute with Kurdistan over the sharing of the region's energy wealth.

The Turkish government has been developing ties with Iraqi Kurdistan, and Erdogan held talks with Kurdish leader Massud Barzani in Turkey's own Kurdish dominated region earlier this month.

Ankara is however keen on restoring ties with Baghdad, which have been strained for several years, and has offered to mediate in the oil dispute.

A Baghdad-controlled oil pipeline currently runs between Kirkuk in Iraq and the southern Turkish port of Ceyhan but operates well below its capacity of 1.5 million tonnes a day, at around 400,000 tonnes.

In the initial phase, Ankara wants to boost the capacity of the existing pipeline and also add additional oil and gas pipelines along the route.

Iraqi Kurdistan has been shipping oil to Turkey by tanker for almost a year.


Syria rebels prepare to quit penultimate pocket of Ghouta

Egyptians prepare to vote with Sisi reelection guaranteed

Israel ministers welcome US appointment of 'friend' Bolton

Iran slams US sanctions over hacking scheme

Iraqi widow saved recruits from slaughter by IS

Policeman dead in bombing in Alexandria

Syrians in Manbij fear Turkey, bet on US

Quick victory unlikely in Egypt assault on IS

Sisi, Egypt's undisputed leader and 'father figure'

PKK to quit northwest Iraq after Turkish threat

Iraqi asylum seeker gets life sentence for London bombing

UK says Israeli sentencing of Palestinian teenage girl "emblematic"

Sarkozy vows to clear name in Libya probe

Syria announces second evacuation deal for rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

Three dead after suspected IS gunman takes hostages in France

170,000 flee violence in Syria's Afrin

Norway proposes bill to ban full-face veils in education

Turkey says EU statements on Cyprus 'unacceptable'

Air strikes hit Ghouta despite rebel ceasefire effort

US approves $1 billion in Saudi defence contracts

Saudi to carry out nuclear power deal with or without US

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007