APIKUR calls for tripartite discussions with Erbil, Baghdad

Dilan Sirwan

May. 28, 2024 • 2 min read
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APIKUR stressed the need for tripartite talks to resolve the Kurdistan Region's oil export impasse, as halted exports through Turkey have caused significant economic losses despite readiness from both Ankara and the Kurdistan Region.

Tripartite meetings are required between the Government of Iraq, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and International Oil Companies (IOCs) to find solutions to the export impasse through Turkey, the Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (APIKUR) said Monday.


“APIKUR’s member companies believe tripartite talks between Government of Iraq, Kurdistan Regional Government, and international oil companies are the best way to find solutions that will lead to the resumption of ITP exports,” Spokesperson to APIKUR Myles B. Caggins III said.


Exports of the Kurdistan Region’s oil through the Turkish Ceyhan pipeline was halted in March 2023 after Ankara lost a case against Baghdad in a Paris-based arbitration court. The case accused Ankara of breaching a 1973 agreement by allowing the Kurdistan Regional to start selling oil independent of Baghdad.


The ruling ordered Ankara to pay $1.5 billion to Baghdad in compensation for breaching the agreement, however Turkey responded by halting exports through its pipeline.


The Kurdistan Region previously exported just under half a million barrels of oil, including around 75,000 barrels from federal controlled fields in Kirkuk, on a daily basis through the Ceyhan pipeline, however ten months of halted exports has dealt a large economic blow to both the KRG and IOCs working in the Region.


Several rounds of talks and negotiations have been held between the Iraqi government and the KRG since, however oil exports are yet to resume.


According to APIKUR, the cumulative loss that Iraq has suffered ever since exports were stopped is over $16.5 billion.

Reopening oil pipelines was one of the agenda items of Turkish President Erdogan's recent visit to Iraq.


Ankara has been announcing for a long time that it is ready to reopen the oil pipeline, as well as officials in the Kurdistan Region.


However in March, the Iraqi oil ministry blamed IOCs for the halt in export.


“One of the most important reasons for the current cessation of exports is the reluctance of foreign companies operating in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to officially hand over their production to the regional government to be exported in accordance with the federal budget law in force,” the ministry said at the time.


However APIKUR rejected such accusations.


“APIKUR member companies reiterate that they are prepared to resume exports, contingent upon reaching agreements that provide for payment surety for past and future exports, direct payment and preservation of commercial terms,” read the APIKUR statement.

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Author Dilan Sirwan

Dilan Sirwan is an Erbil-based Kurdish journalist covering Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. He focuses on political, economic, and social issues.


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