News / Economy

Turkey to Seek Baghdad's Consent for Iraqi Kurdish Oil

Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani (L) speaks during a joint news conference with Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz in Baghdad, Dec. 1, 2013.
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani (L) speaks during a joint news conference with Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz in Baghdad, Dec. 1, 2013.
Reuters
Oil exports from anywhere in Iraq to Turkey need the central government's approval, Baghdad and Ankara said on Sunday after a bilateral meeting aimed at diffusing a row over energy exports from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
 
Turkey, hungry for energy and dependent on imports for almost all of its needs, wants Iraqi Kurdistan's oil to help diversify its energy supplies and reduce its ballooning $60 billion annual energy bill.
 
But Turkey's courtship of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has infuriated the central government in Baghdad, which says it has sole authority to manage Iraqi energy resources.
 
“We agree that any exports must be with the approval of the Iraqi government and we will discuss the mechanism,” Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy Hussain al-Shahristani told a news conference with Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz in the Iraqi capital.
 
Yildiz said Turkey would seek Baghdad's approval for the commercial export of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan.
 
“We aim to win Iraq central government's consent for oil trade from the KRG to Turkey and to start a cooperation plan to serve the interests of all three parties,” a joint declaration from the ministers said.
 
Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan signed a multi-billion-dollar energy package last week, sources close to the deal said on Friday, that will help transform the Iraqi region into an oil and gas powerhouse.
 
The Turkish foreign ministry has since said the deals had not been finalized and that it would seek Baghdad's cooperation.
 
Yildiz said the two sides had also discussed an existing plan to extend a pipeline to take crude oil from Iraq's southern Basra oil fields to Turkey.
 
It was Yildiz's first visit to Iraq since his plane was denied permission to land by Baghdad late last year when he tried to attend an annual energy conference in Arbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, amid the long-running oil dispute.
 
Yildiz will travel on to Arbil for the same conference, which starts on Monday.
 
Baghdad says Kurdish efforts towards oil independence could lead to the breakup of the country and the dispute has also raised concern in Washington.
 
Shahristani said on Thursday any energy deal with Arbil would be “an encroachment on the sovereignty of Iraq”.
 
Autonomous since 1991, Iraqi Kurdistan has often chafed against the central government and even threatened to secede, but still relies on Baghdad for a slice of the OPEC producer's $100-billion-plus budget.
 
It is already trucking its oil to world markets through Turkey and it plans to open a new export pipeline by the end of the year, angering Baghdad further.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9103
JPY
USD
119.37
GBP
USD
0.6704
CAD
USD
1.2481
INR
USD
62.371

Rates may not be current.