KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Federal Government of Iraq on Sunday temporarily halted the oil exports from its Kirkuk-based North Oil Company (NOC) to Turkey and later resumed the oil flow.
“Following an official letter from the Iraqi Oil Ministry in Baghdad, the state-sponsored NOC halted its Kirkuk oil flow, which passes through the Kurdistan Region, to the Ceyhan port in Turkey,” Fuad Hussein, a member of the Kirkuk Provincial Council's (KPC) oil committee told Kurdistan 24 on Sunday.
Hussein noted there were no technical issues, and the reason behind the oil flow block is unclear, but he believes it is likely there is a political agenda behind it.
“The federal government of Iraq is no longer in dire need of Kirkuk's oil – Kirkuk oil fields only produce 17 percent of Iraq’s total oil production. About 83 percent of Iraq’s oil production now comes from the Basra province,” he added.
Over 250,000 oil barrels per day are exported out of Kirkuk. Almost half of it is exported under the authority of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) while the rest is exported under Baghdad’s jurisdiction through NOC.
The oil fields of Jamboor, Baba Gurgur, and Khabaza are under the administration of the federal government of Iraq. NOC exports 60,000 oil barrels per day to Turkey while the rest is exported abroad through the south of Iraq.
Editing by G.H. Renaud
(Soran Kamaran contributed to this report)