World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's energy ministry has started technical work with Iraq's central government on shipping crude oil from Basra in southern Iraq via the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline to Turkey's Mediterranean coast and on to world markets, its minister said on Friday.
The announcement came days after Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region said it might begin selling natural gas directly to Turkey within two years, a move that was expected to further strain Ankara's ties with Baghdad.
"We have launched technical work with the Iraq central government on bringing Basra crude oil from Kirkuk to Ceyhan and from there to world markets," the ministry quoted Energy Minister Taner Yıldız as saying.
No further details on the plans were immediately available.
Iraq is expected to provide the world's largest expansion in oil export capacity in 2012 due to the opening of two floating single point mooring (SPM) terminals in the Gulf earlier this year. That increase is adding to global supplies as sanctions curb shipments from Iran.
The idea of shipping Basra oil via Turkey appeared to be new.
Iraq is the second-biggest market for Turkish exports, amounting to more than $8 billion last year, after Germany.
But Turkish officials have been locked in a war of words with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki since December, when he ordered the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, based on allegations that he ran death squads.
In recent years, Ankara has also cultivated growing trade ties with the regional administration in the north, which accounts for some 70 percent of Turkey's exports to Iraq and would be Turkey's eighth-biggest export market if it were a country.
Turkish president says tension between two countries is bad for both
The suspects have been caught as they attempted to cross illegally into Syria from Elbeyli town in south-central Kilis province, Turkish military says
Turkish dailies mostly devoted their front pages to Turkish president's response to oil claim by Moscow
PM Ahmet Davutoglu calls on Russia to open military and diplomatic communications channels
President challenges Russian counterpart to resign if claims Turkey buys oil from ISIL are not proved
Vote of confidence for Justice and Development Party (AKP) administration
NATO chief says Turkey has right to protect territorial integrity, calls on Ankara and Moscow to communicate
The separate clashes have taken place in southeastern Turkey's Mardin and Sirnak provinces
PM Davutoglu says Turkey does not intend to escalate situation post downing of Russian aircraft
Without resorting to the niceties of diplomatic language, Tsipras blasted Turkey's shooting down of the Russian plane, Davutoglu's answer was not long to wait
Turkish dailies cover Monday EU-Turkey summit in Brussels and funeral service of slain lawyer Elci
Ankara promises to regularize refugee flow to Europe 'as much as possible'; EU offers money and visa-free travel for Turkish citizens
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says EU and Turkey will 'share destiny of our contintent' at summit in Brussels
Turkey is set to win a deal for the opening in December of a new chapter in Turkey's stalled accession talks for the 28-nation bloc
Turkey's largest airport, Ataturk Airport is set to become Turkey’s first air hub to appear on Google Street View