Turkish Energy Minister reminds Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline has a 1.5 million barrel daily capacity and only a slice of it is being used. He expects a deal between Baghdad and Iraq for a new line.
Turkish Energy Minister reminds Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline has a 1.5 million barrel daily capacity and only a slice of it is being used. He expects a deal between Baghdad and Iraq for a new line in December
“The ball is in the court of Northern Iraq and Iraqi Central Government now. The results of the negotiations between the two will be the determining factor,” said Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz in response to reporters’ questions about the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline, following the ceremony held on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the Energy Market Regulatory Authority.
“We were in Baghdad and Irbil, and discussed this issue at length with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani. We also met with Nechervan Idris Barzani (the prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan), and Massoud Barzani (the President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region). I’d like to repeat once more that we have always adopted a positive approach. Nonetheless, from now on, the final result will be up to the negotiations between Northern Iraq and Central Iraqi Government. …. I believe that our Iraqi brothers will reach a mutual consensus within December, ” Yildiz noted.
Yildiz also stated that the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline agreement has been renewed for 20 years, and the pipeline’s daily output is 300 to 400 thousand barrels despite the fact that it has a daily capacity of 1,5 million barrels.
“We believe that this idle capacity needs to be used whether the oil comes from northern, southern or central Iraq. It will be Iraq who wins. … I believe that this would also seriously contribute to Iraq’s normalization process. In order to increase the capacity, the Central Iraqi Government has offered about a 400-km section of the pipeline from Basra to Turkey. With the addition of this pipeline to Kirkuk-Yumurtalik, the capacity would go up to at least 600 to 700 thousand barrels. We support this project and would like to implement it together with the Central Iraqi Government,” Yildiz said.
Regarding the financing of this new pipeline, Yildiz stated that Turkey could easily finance both its construction and assembly, and stressed that the important matter is that all this work is done with the consent of all parties concerned.
Reminding the agreement “to get the consent of Central Iraqi Government in order to export oil from Kurdistan Regional Government, and start a strong collaborative project which would benefit all parties”, Yildiz said: “”The ball is in the court of Northern Iraq and Central Iraqi Government now. The results of the negotiations between the two will be the determining factor.”
Yildiz said that a working group was established with the Central Iraqi Government regarding the transfer of crude oil from Basra to Kirkuk-Yumurtalik, and the construction of a new pipeline.
“This working group will first work on a project regarding the unassembled pipeline of 400 km. Then they will perform a feasibility study, and keep contributing towards the completion of this project. Then we will join these pipelines together. I would like to emphasize that we support the Central Iraqi Government’s project of taking the oil from southern Iraq to world markets via northern Iraq.
We can build this 400-km pipeline either as a joint or exclusive one. The financing is no problem at all, but I would like to state that this would be a “peace pipeline”, and an important indicator of our sincere commitment to Iraq’s normalization process. I believe that we will implement this project together with the Iraqi Central Government.”
Yildiz said that the negotiations between Iraqi Central Government and Northern Iraq would soon begin, and they would be monitoring the situation closely, and make new evaluations accordingly.