Middle east

Iraq wins an international arbitration case against Turkey over oil exports

Iraq halted crude exports from the autonomous Kurdish region and the northern oil city of Kirkuk on Saturday after winning a long-standing arbitration suit against Turkey, an Iraqi official said.

A senior Iraqi oil official stated that Turkey had informed Iraq that it would respect the ruling in the arbitration case.

Turkish shipping officials told Iraqi employees at Turkey’s Ceyhan Oil Export Center that no ship would be allowed to carry cargo of Kurdish crude without Iraqi government approval, according to the document.

A separate document also showed that Turkey then stopped pumping Iraqi crude through the pipeline to Ceyhan.

Iraq on Saturday stopped pumping oil from its side of the pipeline, which runs from Kirkuk oilfields in the north of the country, an official said.

“International courts under the Paris Chamber of Commerce have considered oil exports through Iraqi Kurdistan for nearly a decade, with Baghdad accusing Ankara of violating a 1973 pipeline agreement by allowing crude exports from the region without Baghdad’s consent.”

Disagreements between Iraq’s central government and the Kurdish regional government over the oil issue have escalated.

In June, the Kurdish region’s Judicial Council said the region’s oil law was still in effect, rejecting a Federal Supreme Court ruling that Kurdish authorities must hand over their crude supplies.

In February, Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court ruled that the Kurdistan law regulating its oil and gas sector was unconstitutional.

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil then demanded that energy companies operating in the Kurdistan region sign new contracts with the state-owned marketing company instead of the KRG, which has raised the concerns of the KRG.

The events of 2017 reflected a tug-of-war between the two sides, forcing the federal government to send military forces to regain control of Kirkuk’s oilfields and force Kurdish forces to leave. The Kurdish Region held a referendum on independence, in which the majority voted for separation.

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