Shafaq News/ On Tuesday, the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) signed an agreement to resume oil exports from the Region.
According to a political source who spoke to Shafaq News agency, the deal was signed by Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia'a al-Sudani and KRG head Masrour Barzani. The agreement grants the Kurds the position of deputy general manager of the state-owned oil marketing company SOMO.
During a joint press conference in Baghdad, al-Sudani emphasized that stopping oil exports from the Kurdistan Region had harmed Iraq and called for removing all obstacles preventing their resumption. He also noted that the oil and gas law was being prepared for legislation and that a fair distribution of wealth to all of Iraq would be included in the budget law after its passage by the House of Representatives.
Barzani confirmed that the agreement was temporary and would serve as the basis for the budget and the oil and gas law legislation. However, he also reassured all parties that this deal was a prelude to reaching a comprehensive and good agreement between the federal government and the KRG without giving up any constitutional rights.
According to Reuters, the two sides reportedly reached a final agreement to resume oil exports, with an official request being sent to Turkey to continue pumping through the Ceyhan pipeline.
One of the main issues related to oil between the KRG and the central Iraqi government is the dispute over oil revenues and control of oil fields. The KRG has sought greater control over oil production in its territory and has established independent oil exports through a pipeline to Turkey, which the central government in Baghdad considers illegal.
This has led to disputes over revenue sharing and accusations of oil smuggling. The federal government seeks to assert control over oil resources and prevent the KRG from pursuing independent oil exports. Last March, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil announced that it had won a long-term arbitration case against Turkey regarding exporting crude oil from the Kurdistan Region through the Turkish port of Ceyhan. As a result of the case, Iraq stopped the export of 450,000 barrels per day of crude oil from the Kurdistan Region and the northern fields of Kirkuk.
Baghdad filed the arbitration case in 2014, alleging that Turkey violated a joint agreement by allowing the KRG to export oil through a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The signing of this new agreement represents progress toward resolving the ongoing dispute over oil between the KRG and the federal government in Baghdad.