Sun 26 Mar 2023 10:08 am - Jerusalem Time
Turkey stops importing oil from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, according to the Iraqi Oil Ministry
On Saturday, Turkey stopped importing oil from the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq , after an international arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of Iraq in a dispute over a case related to the export of the region's oil between Baghdad and Ankara, according to the Iraqi Oil Ministry.
A spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry, Asim Jihad, told AFP that "Turkey has informed the Kurdistan region authorities to stop exports, in compliance with the court's decision."
And according to a document issued by the Iraqi oil shipping office in the Turkish port of Ceyhan, which Jihad confirmed, "At 12:35 on 3/25/2023, pumping was stopped from the stations on the Turkish side."
This measure, which the Turkish authorities have not yet commented on, comes following the decision of the arbitral tribunal at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, which ruled in favor of Iraq in its dispute with Turkey over oil exports from the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
This dispute dates back to 2014, when Baghdad filed a lawsuit against its neighbor Turkey before the arbitral tribunal, objecting to Ankara’s announcement to export the oil of the Iraqi Kurdistan region to global markets without the permission of the Iraqi government.
The Iraqi government, which has tense relations at times with the authorities of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, strongly opposed the Turkish decision, considering that it is the only party entitled to manage oil exports from the region and its revenues.
Despite Baghdad's opposition, Erbil was exporting oil through Turkey. The region's export rate is about 450,000 barrels per day.
According to a statement by the Iraqi Ministry of Oil on Saturday, the ruling issued by the international arbitral tribunal "obliges all parties to respect international agreements and covenants in this regard" and confirms "that the Ministry of Oil, through the Iraqi Oil Marketing Company + SOMO +, is the only entity authorized to manage export operations through the Turkish port of Ceyhan." ".
Based on the ruling issued on Thursday, the ministry said in its statement that it “will discuss mechanisms for exporting Iraqi oil through the Turkish port of Ceyhan with the concerned authorities” in the Kurdistan region and “with the Turkish authorities to ensure the continuation of oil exports, and the fulfillment of SOMO obligations with international companies through the port.” Jihan".
For his part, the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, announced in a tweet that a team from the Kurdistan Regional Government "will visit Baghdad tomorrow for dialogue, to build on the goodwill of our discussions."
The oil file is a major contentious file between the central government in Baghdad and the authorities of the autonomous Kurdistan region. Erbil believes that the central government seeks to put its hand on the region's oil wealth, while Baghdad demands that it have a say in managing the oil resources that are extracted from Kurdistan.
Iraq is the second largest oil country in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and it exports an average of 3.3 million barrels of crude oil per day.