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MEOG: Iraqi minister signals progress with KRG

Iraqi Oil Minister Hayyan Abdulghani spoke positively this week about negotiations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to restart oil exports, which have now been shuttered for 15 months.

Speaking to Kurdistan24, Abdulghani said that talks are ongoing between the two parties, and noted the importance of the agreement between Baghdad and Erbil that governs oil exports via the Turkish port of Ceyhan, a deal that serves as the bedrock of ongoing discussions aimed at reviving oil flows.

Exports from the Kurdistan Region through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline were halted in March 2023. This suspension came after a Paris-based arbitration court ruled in Baghdad’s favour against Ankara, determining that Turkey had breached a 1973 pipeline agreement by permitting the KRG to initiate independent oil exports in 2014.

Abdulghani also commented on Iraq’s dependence on gas imports from Iran. Despite current purchases, Iraq needs additional gas to generate electricity. “Although Iraq buys gas from neighbouring Iran, it needs more gas to generate electricity, so they will sign more contracts in the future,” he said.

No specific timeline has been set for the resumption of oil exports, but Abdulghani stressed the ongoing and collaborative communication between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region. He mentioned continuous dialogue with Kamal Mohammad, the acting Minister of Natural Resources for the KRG, underscoring a commitment to cooperation and information exchange.