Kurdistan could be major oil exporter, says oil exec

ISTANBUL, Turkey— Chief Executive of Genel Energy Tony Hayward said the Kurdistan region of Iraq could effectively start exporting its gas to Turkey by 2019.

The British businessman said Kurdish gas could be supplied to several countries and sufficiently meet their demand.

“Kurdistan region is believed to have an estimated 200 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and could become a major exporter in the market,” said Hayward, who was chief executive of British Petroleum before leaving the company in 2010.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council energy and economic summit in Istanbul on Thursday, Hayward also said Kurdistan was steadily increasing its oil export despite the ongoing crisis in Iraq.

Kurdish Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami, also at the summit, said Kurdistan could increase its gas export to 20 billion cubic meters a day in four years.

“We have been increasing our gas production for the past nine months and will work with Turkish companies to export it to Turkey,” Hawrami said.