KRG continues to sell oil
“For the past 90 years the Kurdish oil has been looted and used against the Kurds. It is our right to sell our own oil now.”
Safeen Dizayee, the spokesperson of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), said that the amount of oil that was exported to Turkey has been sold according to the international systems and the technical aspect is not the KRG's business.
“KRG will continue to export and sell oil. The revenue of the 1 million barrel of the KRG oil will be announced by Nechirvan Barzani, the KRG Prime Minister.”
KRG announced on 23 May: “In line with its policy of implementing the 2005 Constitution and help Iraq achieve its sales targets, the KRG has completed the first sale procedures of crude oil produced in the Kurdistan Region and piped to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey.”
Turkey's sale of the KRG oil without Iraq's permission once again brought about disputes between Baghdad and Hawler (Erbil) pushing Maliki, Iraq's Prime Minister, to emphasize his earlier stand on cutting the civic salaries of the KRG.
Speaking exclusively to the Kurdish News Network Channel (KNN), Dizayee explained that the oil which was sent to Turkey over the past few months has been sold according to the international standards and prices, hence refuting Baghdad's accusations that the oil was sold at a lower price.
“Apart from the selling transactions, the KRG has no relation with the technical details,” Dizayee said.
He explained that they need to export between 400 to 500 thousand oil barrels per day in order to provide the salaries to the Region's employees who have not received their money in time in the last 5 months.
Dizayee emphasized that the KRG will continue to export and sell its oil, adding that for the past 90 years the Kurdish oil has been looted and used against the Kurds. “It is our right to sell our own oil now.”
Dizayee stated that the KRG is ready to hold negotiations with the Central Government within the framework of the Constitution.
To explain the selling process of oil and to announce the revenue, last Wednesday, the Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and the KRG's Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami met with the Speaker of the Parliament, Yousif Mohemmad and the Heads of the political Blocs in the Parliament.
The KRG sold its first oil shipment through the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan on 22 May. Iraq’s Central Government reacted to the move by filing a lawsuit at the International Arbitration Court in Paris against Turkey on grounds it was allowing the sale of "smuggled Iraqi oil."
The bone of contention between Erbil and Baghdad has been over who controls the revenues. The Kurds rejected demands by Baghdad that the sales should be conducted by the State Oil Marketing Organization, inviting SOMO only as an observer.