ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Talks are ongoing between Baghdad and Tehran to export crude oil from Kirkuk to a refinery in Iran, the oil-state company revealed on Monday.
“The Ministry of Oil is in talks with the Iranian Oil Ministry to supply the Kermanshah [Kermanshan] refinery with crude oil,” Alaa al-Mussawi, the director of Iraq’s state-oil marketer SOMO said in a statement.
Kirkuk is an oil-rich province which has, over the past few years, exported its crude oil to international markets via the Ceyhan port in Turkey.
Following the attack and takeover of the province by Iraqi Forces and the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia on Oct. 16, the Iraqi Oil Ministry has been in talks with Iranian officials about the province’s oil exports.
“The Kermanshah refinery will be supplied with 15,000 barrels of Kirkuk oil and will the possibility it will be increased in the future considering the refinery's capacity of 25,000 barrels,” Mussawi added.
He also mentioned that the shipping would begin with trucks.
On Monday, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, in a televised press conference asserted the crisis in Kirkuk had adversely affected the Kurdistan Region’s oil export revenue, reducing it to less than half of what it was generating prior to the Oct. 16 attack.
Editing by Nadia Riva