World Bulletin/News Desk
The Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq announced on Friday that payments for oil that goes through Turkey’s Ceyhan pipeline will be deposited to Turkish state-owned lender Halkbank.
The funds would be treated as part of the Kurdish government’s budget according to the Iraqi constitution, the government said in a statement.
Saying that a tanker loaded with over one million barrels of crude oil departed last night from Ceyhan towards Europe, the statement said, "This is the first of many such sales of oil exported through the newly constructed pipeline in the Kurdistan region."
"Meeting Iraq’s continued international UN obligations, five percent of the sales revenue will be set aside in a separate account for reparations," the regional government added.
According to the American Energy Information Administration, Iraq holds the world's fifth largest known oil reserves with 143 billion barrels.
The country also has 3.1 trillion cubic meters of known natural gas reserves, the world's 11th biggest known reserves. Yet problems with infrastructure and bureaucracy have meant that Iraq is not able to produce 1 billion cubic meters of gas yearly.
Even if Iraq was to overcome its problems in production, the unresolved question is how this gas will reach international markets. Turkey's Southern Gas Corridor project, which will supply Europe with gas from Azerbaijan via Turkey, seems like the most viable option.
As Europe's fastest growing energy market with nearly 45 billion cubic meters of domestic natural gas consumed every year, Turkey is a natural customer for Iraqi gas.Last Mod: 24 Mayıs 2014, 17:18