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Iraq threatens to seize oil shipments, sue dealers

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 11, 2013 at 7:06 am •  Published: January 11, 2013

Dizayee said the Kurds are shipping the crude from the Taq Taq oil field into Turkey by tanker truck. Much of the exported oil will be refined and then shipped back to the Kurdish region, which has a pressing need for fuel during the cold winter months, he said.

He insisted that the Kurds remain open to talking with Baghdad about the new exports within the framework of a comprehensive negotiation.

"If we need to address this issue, we need to address it as a complete package," he said.

The Iraq Oil Report website, which closely follows the industry and earlier noted the SOMO statement, said the Kurds have been shipping about 15,000 barrels a day to the Turkish port of Mesfin. If accurate, that would be a small fraction of the well over 2 million barrels Iraq exports each day.

Dizayee declined to say how much was being shipped abroad.

The Kurds last month suspended oil exports through a pipeline managed by Baghdad over a payment dispute with the central government. Those exports fall under a tentative 2011 deal which calls on the Kurds to send the oil to Baghdad, which sells it, and pays 50 percent of the revenues to oil companies to reimburse their development costs.

Iraq sits atop the world's fourth largest proven reserves of conventional crude, with about 143.1 billion barrels. Oil revenues make up 95 percent of the country's budget — a portion of which is earmarked for the Kurdish region.


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