Iraqi PM says delays are in the Kurdistan Region

Ongoing disputes keep Ceyhan oil exports offline

Baghdad, December 14 — Members of the Iraqi Parliament’s Oil and Gas Committee have confirmed the Ceyhan pipeline is ready to resume oil exports, but say a number of contentious issues are causing delays.

Committee member Ali Al-Mashkoor told Al-Sabah newspaper that a total of eight points of dispute are “with the region,” and their unresolved status is likely to extend the delay.

According to Al-Mashkoor, negotiations have successfully addressed two points: specifying the State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) as the source of oil and authorized recipient for payments, as well as providing the central government a role in sourcing the oil from the region.

“The pipeline is fully prepared for export, but differences in the type of contracts with oil companies operating in the region compared to those in the central and southern areas have led to confusion. The first set of companies has rejected resuming production, resulting in a delay in commencing exports through the Ceyhan outlet,” he continued.

Al-Mashkoor added, “Production by foreign companies within the region is significantly larger than that of other companies, and that situation is not accepted by the central government and the Ministry of Oil. The discrepancy is an embarrassment for other companies and consequently, causing a significant halt in operations.”