Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

The spokesperson of the Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (APIKUR), Myles Caggins, revealed on Saturday that APIKUR member companies are eager to sell oil through the State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO).

Caggins told Kurdistan24 that the step is backed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and seeks to solve outstanding concerns related to transparency and delayed payments.

Oil sales through SOMO will give total transparency to the federal government in Baghdad and enable quick payment for oil sales.

Under the old arrangement, oil companies faced considerable delays in receiving payments because they relied on Baghdad and Erbil to resolve budget concerns.

According to Caggins, foreign oil companies agree with the KRG that the resumption of oil exports via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline, under the supervision of SOMO, is the best option.

Turkey stopped receiving oil flows from the Kurdistan region of Iraq on March 25, 2023, following an arbitration decision issued by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris.

The decision obliged Turkey to pay Baghdad $1.5 billion in compensation for damages caused by the KRG’s export of oil without permission from the federal government in Baghdad between 2014 and 2018.

The KRG began exporting crude oil independently in 2013, a step Baghdad considered illegal.

APIKUR recently contradicted media reports that falsely blame the current conflict over the restart of oil shipments via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline on the inflexibility of foreign oil companies.

According to media sources, current discussions have stalled because oil corporations operating in Iraqi Kurdistan have taken an unyielding posture.

However, no coordinated conversations between international oil businesses, Iraqi government officials, and the KRG have taken place since January 2024.

Several multinational oil firms have ceased production, and supplies have yet to restart, despite several meetings between Iraqi Kurdish officials, the federal government in Baghdad, and Turkish authorities.

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