Kurds Respond to Baghdad Proposal Over Oil Export Row

Source: Reuters 2/12/2014, Location: Middle East

Iraqi Kurdistan has responded to a proposal by the federal government in Baghdad to resolve a long-running row over oil exports from the autonomous region to Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Sharistani said.

Shahristani said Iraq welcomed exports from Kurdistan but that the State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) should manage the sales.

"Three weeks after we sent our proposals to the Kurdish region, today they replied," Shahristani said at a news conference in Baghdad, declining to elaborate on the content of the response.

Kurdistan last year finished building an independent export pipeline to Turkey, infuriating Baghdad, which claims sole authority over exploitation and export of all the country's crude.

The region last month invited potential buyers of its crude to register with Kurdistan Oil Marketing Organisation (KOMO) and said it planned to sell its first cargo by the end of the month, but

Shahristani reiterated a warning to any traders considering lifting Kurdish crude from Turkey's Ceyhan port, and advised Ankara again to be wary of allowing exports to go ahead without Baghdad's consent.

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