Iraqi Kurds press on with oil pipe to Turkey despite U.S. fears

By: Reuters

Iraqi Kurdistan will press ahead with building its own oil export pipeline to Turkey, the region’s energy minister said on Thursday, despite U.S. objections due to fears the project could lead to the break-up of Iraq. 

“We want to have an oil pipeline to ourselves,” Iraqi Kurdish Minister for Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami said at a news conference in the regional capital Arbil. “It is currently in the works and we will continue until it is completed.”

Crude from the Kurdistan region used to be shipped to world markets through a Baghdad-controlled pipeline to Turkey, but exports via that channel dried up in December, from a peak of around 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) due to a row over payments with Baghdad.

The United States

says the solution lies in a national hydrocarbons law that has been delayed for years by a power struggle between Iraq’s Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish factions, which has intensified since U.S. troops withdrew a year ago.

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