Regional

Iraq warns Kurdish oil exports to Turkey harm ties

In this photo taken on June 26, 2012, the drilling rig West Aquarius is seen in the sunset as it executes exploration work for ExxonMobil less than 100 nautical miles off the coast of Danang. (AP Photo/Na Son Nguyen)

BAGHDAD: Iraq said on Sunday that oil exports from Kurdistan to Turkey by truck were "illegal", warning Ankara that such trade with the autonomous region could damage its relations with the central government in Baghdad.

Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, which borders Turkey, is locked in a dispute with the central Iraqi government over oil exports and energy policy has become a very sensitive topic.

Turkey said on Friday it had begun importing 5 to 10 road tankers of crude a day from the northern region of Iraq and the volume could rise to 100-200 tankers per day.

"Exporting oil from Kurdistan to Turkey is illegal and illegitimate," Iraq government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.

He said that the oil is the property of all Iraqis and that any exports and revenue collection should be organised by the central government.

"Turkey, in doing this, is participating in the smuggling of Iraqi oil and putting itself in a position which we don't wish from a neighbour with which we have broad and large interests," he said.

"This issue will influence the relationships between the two countries, especially economic ones, which will be harmed."

A Kurdistan regional government source said last week that it had sent a small amount of oil to Turkey by trucks in exchange for diesel, adding it needed the refined product to run power stations.

Ankara has increasingly courted Iraqi Kurds as its relations with the Shi'ite-led central government in Baghdad have soured. Turkey is a major investment and trading partner for Iraq, especially for Kurdistan.

The Kurdish government source said last week Kurdistan was not getting enough of the refined product under supplies controlled by the central Iraqi government, making the trade with Turkey necessary to fill the gap.

Kurdistan infuriated Baghdad last year by signing production sharing contracts with U.S. group Exxon Mobil. A provincial governor said earlier this month he would also like to enter into talks with Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded energy company.

 

Recommended





Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here