ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Erbil and Baghdad have no disagreements about the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) deals with Russian oil giant Rosneft, said the region's prime minister on Tuesday.
“Our contracts are within the constitution of Iraq. The Iraqi constitution has given this right to the Kurdistan Region,” Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani told reporters during a press conference in Erbil.
“Certainly, there are no disagreement between Baghdad and us on this topic because Baghdad also knows that we have signed this deal based on the Iraqi constitution.”
He said that oil and gas matters, in general, need to be resolved between Iraq's federal government and the Kurdistan Region. In this case, he added, the deal mentioned was done so with the consent of "all of Iraq," and that "all" would benefit from it.
Barzani stated that Erbil is currently in discussions about Kirkuk's oil exports with Baghdad, saying, “Practically, Baghdad has failed to export Kirkuk oil, which is about 250,000 to 300,000 barrels per day.”
He noted that the KRG had made an offer to Baghdad that it export that oil through the Kurdistan Region’s pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, where Iraq’s national company responsible for marketing its oil, SOMO, would take charge of it.
“We still have not received any response about this from Baghdad."
Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, recently revealed that it plans to start upstream projects in the Kurdistan Region by the end of 2018. The deals, based on a production sharing agreement between Rosneft and the KRG, were signed in October 2017.
On July 23, Russian TASS news agency cited the Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Haidar Mansour Hadi as stating that Iraq expects Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin to soon visit Baghdad for talks on oil contracts with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.
Editing by John J. Catherine