Iraq, Turkey discuss joint relations in oil and energy fields

Iraq's oil minister and his Turkish counterpart have discussed joint cooperation in the oil and energy sectors at a meeting in Ankara, according to a statement from the Iraqi oil ministry on Tuesday.

Iraq’s oil minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani arrived in the Turkish capital to discuss issues including the resumption of oil exports through the Ceyhan oil terminal, a source in the minister’s office told Reuters earlier.

The statement did not mention whether or not resumption of exports via Ceyhan was discussed.

Turkey halted flows on March 25 after an arbitration ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) ordered Ankara to pay Baghdad damages of $1.5 billion for unauthorised exports by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) between 2014 and 2018.

The blocked oil consists mainly of oil originating from Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

An Iraqi oil ministry official who is close to the Iraqi northern oil exports operations said on Tuesday that the Turkish energy ministry informed Iraq’s state-owned marketer SOMO last month that it needed more time to check the technical feasibility of the pipeline to resume flows.

“Turkish energy ministry informed SOMO last month that more time is needed to check the pipeline and crude storage tanks in Ceyhan for any damages resulting from the earthquake hit Turkey,” added the Iraqi official.

Iraqi energy officials stated on Tuesday that the visit of the Iraqi oil minister is aimed at reaching common ground with Turkey to agree on a clear date when oil exports should be resumed.

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