World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraq should make full use of the oil pipeline between the country and Turkey, said Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz, as attempts to resolve a dispute between Baghdad and Irbil over the sale of Kurdish oil continue.
Yildiz's comments on Monday came as he visited the Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation's facility in the south-eastern port of Ceyhan, which stores oil from reserves carried via the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Azerbaijan and via the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline in Iraq.
Pointing at empty tankers waiting to be filled with Iraqi oil, Yildiz said that, since March 1, the central Iraqi government had not been pumping oil to Ceyhan amid the row between Baghdad and the Kurdish regional administration in the north of Iraq, which is seeking to sell its oil direct to market, bypassing Iraq's state oil company SOMO.
But Yildiz said Turkey has continued to charge Iraq as if the line was carrying 750,000 barrels of oil per day.
Yildiz said, "Since they pay the money, they should solve their problems and use the pipeline to its full capacity to increase their oil revenue."
About 1.4 million barrels of Kurdish oil are currently being stored in Ceyhan.
Turkish and Kurdish Regional Government officials signed a deal in November 2013 to enable Kurdish oil to be exported to Ceyhan when no oil is being pumped by Iraq's central administration.
However, Baghdad has been opposed to the export of stored Kurdish oil from Ceyhan, saying it is in violation of Iraq’s constitution as it would bypass the Iraqi national oil company.
In a bid to ease the dispute, Kurdish authorities said last Thursday that they would accept an export of 100,000 barrels of oil per day through SOMO from April 1, while negotiations for a permanent deal with Baghdad continue.Last Mod: 25 Mart 2014, 09:06