ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Kirkuk governorate’s produced oil is no longer exported via the Iraqi government oil marketing company SOMO, said Kirkuk Governor.
Najmadin Karim, the governor of Kirkuk, in a press conference on Sunday, stated that the local administration has agreed with the Iraqi government to send the un-exported Kirkuk oil to refineries in the Kurdistan Region.
Recently, Iraqi Minister of Oil stated that the country has reduced its oil production by 160,000 barrels a day.
“The oil produced by the Iraqi Northern Oil Company in Kirkuk was supposed to be transferred to Erbil and Baghdad instead of being exported, but after the meeting with PM Haider al-Abadi, it was decided that the crude would be transferred to refineries in Erbil and Sleimani,” Karim said.
Karim added that the crude oil sent to Erbil’s Kalak refinery is to provide the share of Mosul from petroleum products.
Kirkuk governor stated that in the last week’s meeting with PM Abadi the operation to retake the Islamic State (IS)-held the city of Hawija, southern Kirkuk, was discussed as well.
“The delay in Hawija liberation operation is a threat to Kirkuk,” Karim said.
He added that the start of Mosul operation before recapturing Hawija district was “a mistake.”
According to Karim, the delay in Hawija operation was a political decision.
“The coalition probably had a role in the decision and might be related to US elections,” Karim concluded.
The head of the Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC) Rebwar Talabani previously told Kurdistan24 the delay in liberating Hawija from IS leaves them skeptical about whether it is a military or politically driven tactic.
Editing by Ava Homa