Hawrami: Kurdistan-Turkey Pipeline to finish in three months
400 000 bpd of oil to be pumped via the new pipeline by the end of 2013
Speaking at the Iraq Energy Conference in London, Dr. Ashti Hawrami, the Natural Resources Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), announced on Wednesday 19 June 2013 that the project to extend an oil pipeline from the Kurdistan Region to Turkey will be completed by the end of September this year.
According to Hawrami, the pipeline will initially pump 300 thousand barrels of oil per day, but its capacity will rise to 400 thousand barrels per day after three months.
Hawrami told the conference that by 2015, the pipeline will be able to pump 1 million barrels per day.
The Turkish Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz, verified the news a day after the an- nouncement.
Yildiz made his statement at the World Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday 20 June.
The Turkish Minister told those present that the oil and gas exported to world markets via Turkey is very important for the economy of Iraq.
Minister Yildiz further stated that the business operations of the Turkish oil and energy companies in the Kurdistan Region are completely legal, and that these companies are currently implementing a number of oil and gas projects in the Region.
Oil is considered one of the main sources of disagreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Central Government of Iraq. The completion of the pipeline and the export of oil directly to Turkey will clearly lead to still greater tension with Baghdad, given that it will grant the Kurdistan Region a high level of economic independence and bring the Kurds closer to independence than ever before.
The Kurdish Natural Resources Minister also stated that if the issues between Erbil and Baghdad are solved according to the permanent constitution, Erbil may resume exporting oil through Baghdad-controlled pipelines.
Hawrami argues that the completion of the pipeline between Kurdistan and Turkey will impact positively on the Iraqi economy, since the revenues generated by the sale of oil through the pipeline will be shared among all Iraqis.
The Kurdish official also said that the regional and central governments had yet to reach an agreement on the payment of fees to oil producers working in the Kurdistan Region.
“The issue of the non-payment of the oil companies in Kurdistan has not been discussed during the meetings between the Region and Baghdad,” Hawrami said during his address to the conference in London. “The primary issue between Kurdistan and Baghdad is the Iraqi constitution.”
The Kurdish government is planning to export oil and gas to Turkey and Europe when production meets domestic demand.
“We will be in a position to export gas to Turkey in 2016.”