World Bulletin / News Desk
Necirvan Barzani, the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government of northern Iraq’s Oil Minister, has arrived in the Turkish capital city Ankara to discuss a possible energy deal. Export of oil from the region to Turkey may start as early as next month, said Barzani.
On his arrival in Ankara he said that a pipeline between the KRG and Turkey could become active before Christmas, before going to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz.
The pipeline between northern Iraq and Turkey is expected to deliver 300,000 barrels of oil a day. Currently, a pipeline connecting the Baghdad-controlled Kerkuk to the Turkish city of Ceyhan, pumps only 400,000 barrels of oil a day, which is way below its capacity of 1.5 million barrels a day.
Should the deal go through, Turkey will be less dependent on Russian and Iran oil. However, in making this deal with the KRG capital Erbil, Ankara will also be further weakening its already strained ties with the Baghdad-based government of Iraq.
Two weeks ago, the president of the KRG Masoud Barzani visited the predominantly Kurdish south-eastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, where he was greeted by crowds of supporters and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. Ankara has also been in an effort to renew its ties with Baghdad, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek paying visits.Last Mod: 27 Kasım 2013, 16:00