All Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil exports verified and accounted, “no question” as to origin: govt

HEWLÊR-Erbil, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Monday all crude oil that moved through its pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, as well as all cargoes loaded at that point, had been verified and there was no question as to their origin. “Every single drop of oil is verified and accounted for. There is, and can be, no question as to the origin of the oil in the pipeline,” the KRG’s ministry of natural resources said in a statement. The ministry issued the statement in response to what it said were misleading reports that suggested some crude exports had originated from Islamic State-held territory. U.S. defence officials estimate Islamic State was earning about $47 million per month from oil sales prior to October. The ministry statement added that every cargo loaded at Ceyhan, the outlet for shipments from northern Iraq, was further verified and tested for quality. Kurdistan began bypassing Baghdad and exporting oil directly in 2014 following a dispute with the federal government about its share of the budget. It is currently exporting more than 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil. The region plans to increase exports to as much as 1 million barrels and wants also to become a significant gas exporter, which would put it firmly on the global energy map.