Kurdish pipeline to Turkey to be operational soon
Baghdad, December 25, 2013
Crude oil test flows via Iraqi Kurdistan's new pipeline have reached Turkey's Mediterranean export hub of Ceyhan and the pipeline is expected to be operational soon, according to Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz.
"The (operational) flows will be starting after this," Taner Yildiz told reporters, adding that the start-up date will be discussed next week.
Turkey has agreed with Iraqi Kurdistan on a comprehensive package of oil and gas deals, which will see the rich hydrocarbon resources of the semi-autonomous region independently exported to world markets via Turkey.
The move infuriated Baghdad, which claims the sole authority to manage Iraqi oil, but Turkey has been working to have the central government on board before the exports start.
Yildiz visited Baghdad in early December to have talks with Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani, who has long opposed Turkey's courtship of Kurds.
"I believe this crude will flow via Turkey based on our talks with Shahristani in Baghdad," he said.
Iraqi Kurdistan officials have said repeatedly that the pipeline built by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is complete and should be operational this month.-Reuters