Iraqi Kuridstan's crude oil sales to world markets, deemed illegal by baghdad, are set to rise by nearly 50 per cent next month as trucks start deliveries to a second export terminal in Turkey, industry sources in the region said on Wednesday.
Crude exports from the Taq oilfield in the autonomous northern region of Iraq to Turkey;s Mersin port started at a trickle in early January and have risen to just over 40,000 barrels per day (bdp)
The are expected to hit around 60,000 bdo by the end of June as trucks unload at the neighbouring Dortyol terminal in southern Turkey. Oil lies at the heart of a feud between the central goverment and Kurdistan. Baghdad says it alone has the right to control exports and sign deals, while the Kurds, ssay their right to do so is enshrined in Iraq's federal constitution. In relation, Iraq state oil marketing organisation (SOMO) sent letters warning customers not to touch any oil that had not been marketed by SOMO and the ministry intends to sue producers, namely Anglo-Turkish firm Genel Energy
Turkish intermediary powertrans has hound a steady stream of customers in northwest Europe for its crude and condenstate sales. Major oil firms with interest in soutern Iraq have opted not to participate in tenders. Germany's select Energt lifted the first two Taq Taq cargoes in April while Australia's OMV already black-listed by baghdad due to upstream staked in Kurdistan also bought one cargo in May sources said. The iraque goverment has vowed to take legal action against companies that export crude oil from the semiautonomous Kurdistan region to Turkey.
Any oil that is taken out of the country and payments not made to the iraqi people throught the central goverment is considered to be taking iraq's national wealth said iraqi deputy Prime minister for Energy Affairs Hussein alshahristani.