World Bulletin/News Desk
Iraq has already exported $2 billion worth of oil from northern Iraq, Turkey's energy minister said on Thursday.
"The oil will be sold on behalf of the State Organization for Marketing of Oil, the Iraqi national company, and will go to Ceyhan through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline to be supplied to international markets," Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said at a press conference during the Sixth Atlantic Council Energy and Economics Summit in Istanbul.
Yildiz stated that over $2 billion of oil revenues will be shared, according to the terms stated in the Iraqi constitution. Baghdad will receive 83 percent, while Erbil will get 17 percent.
He stated that a total of 34 oil tankers are filled with northern Iraqi crude, and that combined exports have hit 26.6 million barrels.
Turkey receives the oil from northern Iraq via pipeline, and loads it onto tankers at its southern city of Ceyhan to be exported.
Yildiz said that the oil issue between the Iraqi Federal Government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil has been discussed in various meetings of the summit since Thursday.
The Kurdish Regional Government had been selling oil abroad in the teeth of prohibitions from Baghdad, as the central government wasn't sharing in the export revenue. The two sides reached an agreement last week to share money from oil exports.
Turkey seeks to maintain Russian gas imports
Turkey is working hard to maintain imports of Russian gas which have been declining in volume in recent weeks.
Yildiz said that the volume of gas from the West Line has fallen to 27-28 million cubic meters per day from 42 million cubic meters per day. He did not comment on the reason for the decrease.
"We are trying hard not to have any constraints on the volume of natural gas that we import from Russia," Taner Yildiz said at a press conference on the second day of the summit on Friday.
"Next week, we will go to Russia to hold talks to make sure that our citizens and businesses will not be affected by this situation," he added.