Er­bil-bagh­dad oil cri­sis ex­pected to re­solve

Tur­key gives the green light to the Bagh­dad-con­trolled oil mea­sure­ment sta­tion at the bor­der

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Turk­ish En­ergy Min­is­ter Taner Yildiz sug­gested tri­lat­eral meet­ings be­tween Bagh­dad, Ankara and Er­bil to dis­cuss the de­tails of the ar­range­ment. Bagh­dad agreed to val­i­date the Kur­dish-Turk­ish agree­ments af­ter be­ing promised the mea­sure­ment sta­tion and rev­enue guar­an­tees.

Tur­key’s en­ergy min­is­ter of­fered Bagh­dad the au­thor­ity to mea­sure oil pumped from the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion to Tur­key through the new di­rect pipe­lines.

Turk­ish En­ergy Min­is­ter Taner Yildiz sug­gested tri­lat­eral meet­ings be­tween Bagh­dad, Ankara and Er­bil to dis­cuss the de­tails of the ar­range­ment. Bagh­dad agreed to val­i­date the Kur­dish-Turk­ish agree­ments af­ter be­ing promised the mea­sure­ment sta­tion and rev­enue guar­an­tees.

Bagh­dad had pre­vi­ously an­nounced that it did not ob­ject in prin­ci­ple to oil ex­ports from Kur­dis­tan as long as cer­tain con­di­tions were met, but that it re­jected the for­ma­tion of a tri­par­tite com­mit­tee of Tur­key, Iraq and Kur­dis­tan to dis­cuss the is­sue, pre­fer­ring a joint Iraqi– Turk­ish com­mit­tee with Kur­dish rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Mean­while, Iraqi Oil Min­is­ter Ab­dul Ka­reem Al-Luaibi was quoted by Reuters dur­ing his visit to Vi­enna for the OPEC meet­ing as say­ing that “Tri­par­tite talks would take place in the next few days” to reach agree­ment about the shar­ing of oil rev­enue with the Kurds.

In the talks, Tur­key took a clear stand on the mea­sure­ment sta­tion, which will ad­dress Bagh­dad’s main con­cerns. Prime Min­is­ter Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan gave in­struc­tions to elim­i­nate Bagh­dad’s big­gest con­cern be­fore start­ing oil ex­ports from Kur­dis­tan and asked for the com­ple­tion of the mea­sure­ment sta­tion at the bor­der for oil and nat­u­ral gas ex­ports. Ankara em­pha­sized that oil rev­enues would be shared ac­cord­ing to the pro­vi­sions of the Iraqi con­sti­tu­tion. Bagh­dad was told that they would know the ex­act amount of oil ex­ported. Ankara re­it­er­ated its de­ci­sion to de­posit oil rev­enues in a Turk­ish state bank and then share them un­der the su­per­vi­sion of an Iraqi gov­ern­ment au­di­tor.

En­ergy Min­is­ter Yildiz, who de­liv­ered vi­tal mes­sages to Bagh­dad, told Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Hus­sein Sharis­tani that Tur­key would en­sure a fully trans­par­ent process. Yildiz noted that the agree­ments reached with the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani dur­ing his Ankara visit were to the ben­e­fit of all the par­ties con­cerned and that Ankara wanted to im­prove re­la­tions with Iraq. Yildiz said Prime Min­is­ter Er­doğan was pay­ing se­ri­ous at­ten­tion to his pro­posed visit to Iraq and that Ankara was look­ing for­ward to a visit by Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Nouri al-Ma­liki as soon as pos­si­ble.

Yildiz also had meet­ings with KRG Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani, Nechir­van Barzani and other of­fi­cials. Yildiz said he had worked with Mas­soud and Nechir­van Barzani on draft­ing a joint dec­la­ra­tion. Read­ing from the text writ­ten in Ara­bic, English and Turk­ish, Yildiz said: "We wish to re­ceive the con­sent of the Iraqi cen­tral gov­ern- ment for the com­mer­cial ex­port of oil from the Iraqi Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment to Tur­key and to launch a tri­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion project that will serve all par­ties. We can eas­ily start the meet­ings on the mech­a­nism in Er­bil, Bagh­dad or Ankara."

Yildiz un­der­lined the im­por­tance of keep­ing the process mov­ing with­out dis­rup­tions, with the full con­sent of the par­ties. “God will­ing, we will see the day when oil and nat­u­ral gas ex­ports will reach 7–8 mil­lion bar­rels. We see Iraq as an in­te­gral whole that can­not be bro­ken apart. The agree­ments we made with north­ern Iraq and the cen­tral gov­ern­ment will con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to the nor­mal­iza­tion of Iraq."

Nechir­van Barzani, the KRG prime min­is­ter, who at­tended the Kur­dis­tan-Iraq Oil and Nat­u­ral Gas con­fer­ence at Er­bil, said "The en­ergy agree­ments we reached with Tur­key sig­nify the be­gin­ning of a new Iraq. There are no grounds for fear. All our dis­cus­sions and ne­go­ti­a­tions are car­ried out on le­gal premises."

Yildiz also met with the pres­i­dent of the KRG, Mas­soud Barzani, to dis­cuss the re­cent de­vel­op­ments in oil ac­cords and re­la­tions be­tween Iraq, the KRG and Tur­key. Yildiz also met with KRG Min­is­ter of Nat­u­ral Re­sources, Ashti Hawrami, and Min­is­ter of Elec­tric­ity, Yassin Sheikh Abubakir.

Tur­key's En­ergy Min­is­ter Taner Yildiz speaks at the Iraq-Kur­dis­tan Oil and Gas Con­fer­ence at Ar­bil in Iraq's Kur­dis­tan re­gion, De­cem­ber 2, 2013.

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