KRG confirms first independent exports
ERBIL, May 28, 2014 – The first official sale of independent pipeline exports from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq occurred last week at the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
The Kurdistan Regional Government, long at loggerheads with Iraq’s federal government in Baghdad over the right to export and market oil independently, confirmed on its website that “a tanker loaded with more than one million barrels of crude oil departed last night from Ceyhan towards Europe. This is the first of many such sales of oil exported through the newly constructed pipeline in the Kurdistan Region.”
The KRG noted that revenues would be deposited into Turkey’s Halkbank where, according to Iraq’s 2005 constitution, the regional government would be entitled to its share of the proceeds.
The exported crude is primarily a blend from the Tawke and Taq Taq fields, operated by DNO and Genel Energy, respectively. It is of 31.3 degrees API, with a sulphur content of 2.7 percent, according to Reuters.
Quickly following the KRG’s announcement, Baghdad filed a request for arbitration in an effort to halt future exports. In response, the KRG published a statement Sunday which included the notice: “The MOO [Ministry of Oil of the Federal Government of Iraq] is acting in violation of the 2005 Iraq Constitution, in violation of Iraqi law, and in violation of international law. Its threats will fail.”