Resumption possible within the next few days

Iraqi Oil Minister announces progress over Kurdish oil exports

BAGHDAD – Iraqi Oil Minister Hayan Abdul Ghani said on Monday that Baghdad was actively pursuing “expedited measures” to resume Kurdish oil exports to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, expressing hope that the disputes would be resolved “within the next few days.” He highlighted “positive progress” with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) regarding the Iraqi-Turkish oil pipeline, adding that discussions were ongoing with Turkey for that purpose.

Abdul Ghani’s remarks followed an extensive meeting in Baghdad on Sunday between representatives of the Iraqi Oil Ministry, KRG, and international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the Kurdistan Region, convened at the federal government’s invitation.

Despite Abdul Ghani’s optimistic tone, sources had earlier indicated no breakthrough in the stalemate over Kurdish oil exports emerged from the meeting. While officials remain tight-lipped about specifics, it is believed that production fees for IOCs constitute the primary disagreement causing the ongoing halting of Kurdistan’s oil exports. Reports suggest IOCs demand close to $20 per barrel for production costs, while Baghdad proposes around $6 per barrel. These details, however, remain unconfirmed by Iraqi, KRG, and IOC officials.

KRG’s oil exports ceased in March 2023 after the International Chamber of Commerce ruled that exports facilitated through Turkey were illegal without Baghdad’s approval.