Iraqi Kurdistan Oil Shipments Reach 8.8m Barrels
Iraqi Kurdistan has shipped 8.8 million barrels of oil from the Turkish port of Ceyhan since May, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said, as the autonomous region employs new tactics to establish independent oil sales in defiance of Baghdad.
Sources and energy officials had told Reuters on Thursday that the sales from Ceyhan via the autonomous regions new pipeline were more than 8 million barrels in 11 tankers.
A U.S. court on Monday threw out an order to seize some 1 million barrels of disputed Iraqi Kurdish crude oil from a tanker near Texas, a move that could allow the cargo to be delivered and end a nearly month-long impasse.
"The U.S. court has ruled that North Iraq oil can be sold, and at this point the 12th cargo has also been loaded, with the total shipment reaching 8.8 million barrels," Yildiz told reporters in Ankara on Friday.
The sources and energy officials had said the Kurdistan Regional Government is now using a number of smaller tankers as well as its original 1 million barrel carriers to evade Baghdad's efforts to block the sales.
Baghdad disputes the autonomous region's right to export oil independently of the central government.
Yildiz added that the flow from Northern Iraq to Turkey had increased to 180,000-190,000 barrels per day, from a previous 120,000 barrels.
(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Michael Urquhart)