Erbil, Baghdad Close to Reach Deal on Kirkuk Oil Exports
The governments of Kurdistan Region and Iraq are reportedly about to reach an agreement to resume the oil exports from the oilfields of Kirkuk.
According to multiple sources cited by Financial Times, Erbil and Baghdad are expected to finalize a deal by the end of November and resume pumping 400,000 to 700,000 barrels of oil per day from the oilfields of Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.
According to the report, the crude would be exported through the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) oil pipeline which has recently been upgraded to pump 1 million barrels per day.
It comes as the US, despite granting Baghdad an exception to its sanctions, is pressuring the Iraqi government to limit and gradually end its oil trade with neighboring Iran.
The US is said to be encouraging its allies, including Iraq, to increase their oil production so as to fill in the gap created by sanctions against Iran’s oil exports on the international market.
Oil exports were halted from Kirkuk fields since last year in October when the Iraqi army and Shi’ite militias of Hashd al-Shaabi overran the Kurdish province and pushed the Kurdish rule out of the area. Source