Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi is set to visit Turkey in late February to discuss the resumption of oil exports through Turkey’s Ceyhan port, according to a statement released by Iraq’s oil ministry.
Oil exports from Iraq’s north have been halted since Baghdad used military force to take the Kirkuk oil fields from the KRG in October 2017.
As a result of the clashes the Kurds can no longer produce from the Kirkuk oil fields as they are under the control of federal Iraq.
Baghdad cannot export from Kirkuk’s biggest fields, theBai Hasan and Avana, however because there is no way to transport the crude without access to the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which remains under the control of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
Al-Luaibi’s visit to Turkey will target reaching an agreement to resume shipping Iraqi crude “exclusively through Iraq’s state oil marketer SOMO”, said oil ministry spokesman Asim Jihad.
Baghdad has previously said that it will build its own pipeline to Ceyhan that avoids KRG territory – but analysts say this could take in excess of two years to complete.
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