Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iraq and Kurdistan Reach Agreement on Kirkuk Oil | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An oil field outside of Kirkuk, Iraq. (AFP/File)

Erbil-Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have agreed to import 150,000 bpd barrels from Kirkuk to Turkey. They struck a deal that it will be equally divided between Erbil and Baghdad.

The two governments decided to refuse the request of the wife of former Iraqi President Jalal Talbani, Hero Ibrahim Ahmad, to send Kirkuk oil to Iran using oil tanks.

A high-ranking Kurdish official told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that after the visit of Kurdistan PM Nechervan Barzani to Baghdad and his meeting with Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi, the two agreed to export 150,000 barrels from two Kirkuk fields: Baba Gorgor and Khabbaz to Jihan harbor. The agreement also included that Iraqi government will sell 75,000 bpd and the rest will be sold by the Kurdish Ministry of National Resources.

According to the agreement, the Iraqi government will pay the salaries of Kirkuk employees, while KRG will pay salaries of employees of security institutions and Peshmerga fighters in Kirkuk and will send the petrodollar to Kirkuk.

The official said that the wife of Talbani requested to export Kirkuk oil in an attempt to take control of Kirkuk oil from the hands of KRG and deepen the economic crisis further. He added that an official request has been sent from North Oil Company to the Iraqi government on August 22. The letter revealed that there had been some directives on how to divide the Kirkuk oil.

The letter said 30,000 bpd will be sent to Kirkuk station which is controlled by Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Other 25,000 bpd will be sent to al-Qudus Power Station which was established in 2010 by Hyundai. Qudus is a national gas-equipped station and doesn’t function on crude oil. After further investigations, the source said that they discovered that this station had a 13-KM gas pipeline and doesn’t need crude oil.

The source said that North letter also included allocating 20,000 bpd for Kat refinery in Dukan district. The source explained that this refinery belongs to The Movement for Change. The movement had sent a request through one of its MPs to the Minister of Trade back then Samal Sardar to establish the refinery. The request was denied on the grounds that Ducan is a touristic district and such an establishment would be harmful. They built the refinery any way.

The source also added that the letter mentioned 30,000 bpd will be sent to Iran through Sulaymaniyah, which leaves 60,000 of Kirkuk oil to be exported to Jihan harbor.