Dec 18 2013
By Shaymaa Adel
Azzaman, December 18, 2013
A Kurdish official has said the Kurds would turn income from oil exports originating in their autonomous region to federal government coffers in Baghdad.
The remarks by Ashwaq al-Jaf from the Kurdish block in the Iraqi parliament come amid rising tensions between the government in Baghdad and the Kurdish authorities over oil development, output and exports.
“The income from oil that the Kurdish region earns from oil exports via Turkey will go to federal government treasury and will be distributed equally to all Iraqis.
“This file has been used to distort the image of the (Kurdish) region,” she said.
The Ministry of Oil in a statement on Monday lashed out at the Kurdish authorities following reports that their pipeline to Turkey has become operational by carrying unidentified quantities of crude in its first initial and experimental stage.
“The Kurdish region is under obligation to notify Baghdad of any quantities of oil it exports even if they were shipped for experimental purposes,” the statement said.
It said that Turkey, under a 2010 agreement with Iraq, “cannot accept exports of oil (from the Kurdish region) without Baghdad’s notification.
“Turkey must honor its obligations under the agreement,” it said.
The completion of the line is yet another sign that the Kurds are keen to pursue an independent path despite Baghdad’s warnings.
The Kurdish region has been busy developing oil fields in its three provinces of Dahouk, Arbil and Sulaimaniya, signing scores of oil development pacts with foreign firms.
The region says it currently produces up to 400,000 barrels of oil a day and that the volume will shoot to 1 million barrels by the end of 2014.