KRG delegation will visit Baghdad next week to agree on resuming stalled oil exports: official

KRG delegation will visit Baghdad next week to agree on resuming stalled oil exports: official
Shafaq News/ The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Wednesday it will send a delegation to Baghdad next week to discuss restarting oil exports, a key revenue stream for both sides that has been stalled for over a year.

The announcement came after a regular meeting of the ninth KRG cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, earlier today.

The talks, according to an official press release by Barzani's bureau, aim to overcome obstacles that have hindered oil exports since March 2023, causing significant financial losses for both the federal and regional governments.

"The delegation, which will include representatives from the KRG and oil companies, will focus on finding mechanisms to address all hurdles impeding the resumption of oil exports," the KRG statement said.

The premier reiterated the KRG's commitment to reaching a "comprehensive and balanced agreement" based on Iraq's permanent constitution.

Such an agreement would see oil exported through the federal State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) with revenues deposited in the national treasury.

The KRG has previously stressed its autonomy over its oil resources, leading to long-standing tensions with Baghdad. However, the statement suggests a willingness to compromise to resume exports.

"The KRG government is prepared for dialogue and negotiation to reach an agreement," he said.

On May 28, Iraq's oil ministry called for meeting "as soon as possible" with the Kurdistan Region's ministry of natural resources and international companies operating there to reach a deal on resuming oil exports via a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Traffic via the Iraqi-Turkish oil pipeline, which once handled about 0.5% of global oil supply has been halted, stuck in legal and financial limbo, since March 2023, and talks to resume the exports have stalled.

The sharing of oil revenues between Iraq's federal government and the semi-autonomous Region in the north has been a cause of tensions between the two sides.

Flows through the pipeline were halted after the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce in a longstanding arbitration case ruled Ankara had violated provisions of a 1973 treaty by facilitating such exports without the consent of the Iraqi federal government.

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