Iraqi Prime Minister Mohanned Shia al - Sudani and Masrour Barzani, prime minister of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region reached a final deal yesterday to resume oil exports from northern Iraq via the 970-km Kirkuk - Ceyhan oil pipeline.
The pipeline had shut down last week in wake of the International Court of Arbitration's (ICA) ruling in favor of Baghdad's claim of sovereignty over the pipeline.
“Halting the export of the region’s oil harms Iraq’s revenues,” Sudani said, adding that the governments would work toward passing a federal law detailing the sharing of funds from oil and gas exports. Iraqi oil exports had slumped 200,000 bpd in wake of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan closure.
Barzani said in a statement that while the deal is temporary, it is a “crucial step towards ending the long-standing dispute” between Irbil and Baghdad and “creates a positive and safe atmosphere to finally approve the national oil and gas law.”
Kurdish officials said the deal would allow exports, nearly half a million barrels per day, to begin again as early as Tuesday.
The halt to exports through a pipeline to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan had left foreign oil firms with nowhere to pump oil from northern Iraq.
Norway’s DNO, one of the main firms operating in KRG-administered territory, announced it was halting production at its wells.
Iraq’s economy is one of the most oil-dependent in the world, according to the World Bank. While most of the country’s oil reserves are located in the south, the Kurdish region is heavily reliant on exports of the resource from northern fields.