Kurdistan-based oil companies call on U.S. Congress to help resume oil exports

The Kurdistan-based oil companies asked the U.S. congress to encourage Iraqi PM Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani to reach a deal with Erbil and resume Kurdish oil exports.
Custom design for the Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (Photo: Kurdistan24)
Custom design for the Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (Photo: Kurdistan24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – The Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (APIKUR) on Monday in a letter appealed to the United States Congress to encourage Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani to resolve the oil production and export of Kurdish crude oil during his upcoming U.S. visit. 

The export of Kurdish oil has been halted since March 25 after Iraq claimed victory against Turkey, the importer of the oil, at a Paris-based international court for allowing the Kurdistan Region to independently export petroleum.

Read More: APIKUR, Iraqi government delegation stress the urgency of resuming oil exports

The APIKUR underlined that the export halt, “affecting over 400,000 barrels of oil per day, has lasted more than 10 months and is severely impacting the region's economy and stability at a time when regional tensions are already heightened.” 

The APIKUR letter to U.S. Congress (P1)
The APIKUR letter to U.S. Congress (P1)

In the letter to Michael McCaul, Chairman United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Gregory Meeks, Ranking Member United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the APIKUR requested their immediate assistance to persuade the Iraqi Government to resume oil exports.

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

“The White House has extended an invitation for the Federal Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani to visit. We ask that you take this opportunity to impress on the Iraqi PM that GoI [Government of Iraq] must allow U.S. oil companies, and all APIKUR members, to freely produce and export their oil to the global markets,” the APIKUR said in the letter. 

Moreover, the APIKUR said that Baghdad should also fully implement the Iraqi budget for the Kurdistan Region “which is essential for western and American companies to resume operations, as well as payment surety for past and future oil exports in accordance with their contractual rights.” 

The association's statement continued, “The halt of crude oil exports from the region, now lasting over 10 months, coupled with the unresolved Federal Budget issues by the GoI, continue to threaten the fiscal stability and autonomous status of the KRI—a region that has been a steadfast security ally of the United States in the Middle East.

Read More: Kurdistan Region, Iraq lost $7 billion in oil revenues thus far in 2023, says APIKUR spox

“The Iraqi Prime Minister should demonstrate that he is committed to leading his government to deliver a mutually beneficial solution that will no longer economically strangle the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” said Myles B. Caggins III, APIKUR spokesman, said in the press release received by Kurdistan24. 

“This solution includes resumption of oil exports from the Kurdistan Region into the international markets with payment and contractual certainty for western and American companies to resume operations. The export of oil is the foundation of Iraq’s economy, and all Iraqis will benefit when full production and global sales resume from the Kurdistan Region.” 

The APIKUR was founded in 2023 and includes eight international oil and gas companies operating in the Kurdistan Region, including three U.S. owned companies. APIKUR member companies have so far invested over $10 billion in the Kurdistan Region.

“We remain committed to Kurdistan, despite the recent ballistic missile attacks and increased threats from Iranian-backed militia groups throughout Iraq. It is imperative that we resume full oil production and recommence oil exports from Kurdistan to create economic stability in the region as a bulwark against destructive and destabilizing influences from external actors,” Nicholas W. Atencio, APIKUR Secretary General wrote in the letter.

Editing by Dastan Muwaffaq

The APIKUR letter sent to U.S. Congress
The APIKUR letter sent to U.S. Congress (P2)