London-based Gulf Keystone encouraged ongoing engagement between KRG, Iraq and Turkey on oil exports

"We are encouraged by the ongoing engagement between the KRG, Iraq and Turkey and note the approval earlier this week of the Iraqi Federal budget."
Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline. (Credit: AFP)
Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline. (Credit: AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Independent oil and gas operator Gulf Keystone said on Friday that it is encouraged by the ongoing engagement between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Iraq and Turkey.

Moreover, Gulf Keystone’s Chief Executive Officer, Jon Harris, noted “while no timeline has been publicly announced, we continue to believe the suspension of exports will be temporary and that the KRG will resume more normalised payments.”

Turkey had stopped oil exports on March 25, following an arbitration ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris.

Furthermore, the company welcomed the approval of the Iraqi federal budget by the Iraqi parliament, suggesting that it is a “step in the right direction towards formal recognition of Kurdistan production by Iraq.”

Moreover, it said the new budget “potentially paves the way for monthly budget transfers from Iraq to the [KRG]. We continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Gulf Keystone also added production from the Shaikan Field, which remains shut-in since March 25.

“The suspension has resulted in a gross production deferment to date of around 4.3 million barrels, or approximately 11,800 bpd (barrels of oil per day) on a full-year basis (2023 gross average production guidance prior to suspension: 46,000 – 52,000 bpd),” the company said.

Gulf Keystone’s CEO added that following the stop of oil exports, the company is focusing on “reducing all costs to preserve liquidity, while maintaining safe operational readiness to quickly restart production. We are now exploring potential options to sell our crude to local buyers.”

The U.S. has continued to support the resumption of Kurdish oil exports through Turkey. However, despite these efforts, exports have stalled, leading to an Iraqi delegation planning to travel to Turkey this week to discuss outstanding disagreements regarding the oil exports.

Read More: U.S. Continues to Press for Renewed Kurdish Oil Exports, as pro-Iran Elements Block Implementation of Accord

On June 15, on behalf of the Kurdish-American Congressional Caucus, U.S. Congressmen Michael Waltz, Seth Moulton, and Don Bacon urged the U.S. government to engage at the highest level possible with the governments in Ankara and Baghdad to negotiate an immediate reopening of the Iraq-Turkey pipeline (ITP) and to resolve outstanding disagreements with the ITP Agreement.