Iraqi Kurdistan Starts Oil Exports

Iraq’s Oil Ministry is taking legal action against The Republic of Turkey and state-owned pipeline operator BOTAŞ, further ratcheting up tensions between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government over oil exports. The ministry filed an arbitration request with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris in response to reports that oil pumped from Iraqi Kurdish fields was piped to storage tanks located at the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, where it has been loaded onto a tanker for onward shipment to global markets.

“European Markets,” reportedly purchased the first shipment of this oil.

“By transporting and storing crude oil from Kurdistan, and by loading that crude oil onto a tanker in Ceyhan, all without the authorization of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, Turkey and BOTAŞ have breached their obligations under the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline Agreement.” Iraq Ministry of Oil

More from the ministry’s statement:

“This agreement governs the operation of two pipelines that run from Kirkuk, Iraq, to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea, as well as crude oil storage and loading facilities at Ceyhan.  It was signed in 1973 and amended several times, most recently in 2010.  Under the agreement, Turkey and BOTAŞ committed to reserve the entire pipeline, storage and loading system for the exclusive use of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, and to handle and load crude oil coming from Iraq exclusively in accordance with instructions given by the Iraqi Ministry of Oil.”