Iraq oil min says Turkey rejects KRG export pipelines
Monday, 25 February 2013
BAGHDAD: Turkey has told Iraq it will reject any extension of oil and gas pipelines from Kurdistan without the approval of the Baghdad government, Iraq's oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi was quoted as saying by the state media network on Monday.
Iraq's Arab-led central government and the Kurdistan regional government (KRG), run by ethnic Kurds, are in a long-running dispute over how to exploit the country's crude reserves and divide the revenues.
Baghdad says it alone has the authority to control exports of the world's fourth largest oil reserves, while the Kurds say their right to do so is enshrined in Iraq's federal constitution, drawn up following the U.S.-led invasion of 2003.
"Turkey has officially informed Iraq it rejects extending oil and gas export pipelines from the Kurdistan region to pass through Turkey without approval from federal government," the network quoted the minister as saying.
Iraqi Kurdish Minister for Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami said earlier this month the autonomous region was pressing ahead with plans to build its own oil export pipeline to Turkey, despite objections from the United States, which fears the project could lead to the break-up of Iraq.
Kurdistan has been looking to resource-hungry Turkey for a way to monetise its oil. A broad energy partnership between them ranging from exploration to export has been in the works since last year. (Reuters)