Iraqi Oil Ministry blames APIKUR for failure to resume Kurdistan Region’s oil exports

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region —  The Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has attributed the failure to resume oil exports from the Kurdistan Region, which were halted precisely one year ago, to the Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (APIKUR), as stated by the ministry.

The ministry states that APIKUR, which represents international oil firms in the Region, refuses to deliver the oil they produce to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The statement reads that, “A significant reason for the current halt in exports is the refusal of foreign companies operating in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to officially handover their production to the regional government for exportation in compliance with the prevailing federal general budget law.”

“Exportation could swiftly resume if these companies adhere to the law by delivering the oil produced from the Region’s fields.”

Last year today, on March 25, 2023, Kurdistan Region’s oil exports through Turkey’s Ceyhan port were immediately halted following a ruling by an International Arbitration Court favoring Iraq over Turkey. The court’s decision pointed out that Turkey had been transporting oil from the Region without the consent of the Iraqi government, thereby breaching a previous agreement with Iraq.

The ministry expresses concern, stating that neither the Ministry of Oil nor any other federal institutions were informed about the contracts made between the KRG and the oil firms.

“The costs asserted by the companies encompass what they term as repayment of previous debts totaling billions of dollars, amounts unknown to the federal government and not in alignment with borrowing frameworks as outlined in the constitution and relevant laws,” the statement adds.

It also alleges the KRG and the foreign companies have yet to finalize a new contract in compliance with the constitution and legal provisions.

These remarks come only a day after APIKUR asserted that Iraq has failed to take the necessary steps to reopen the Iraq-Turkey pipeline and facilitate oil exports.

Kurdistan Region’s one-year halt in oil exports costs billions, oil firms report

The ministry asserts the statement from APIKUR “constitutes blatant interference in both the internal and external sovereign affairs of Iraq, which are unrelated to the operations of the companies involved.”

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