Iraq, Kurdistan will equally share oil export revenues: minister

Iraq, September 5, 2016


Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Saturday that revenues from a recent oil accord between Baghdad and Erbil are to be shared equally, adding that “a very good portion” of the oil already had been exported through a pipeline to Turkey.

Zebari said in an interview with Rudaw TV, that a visit to Baghdad by Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani last Monday had been “crucial” to breaking a six-month deadlock over oil exports.

“Mr. Barzani’s visit to Baghdad and meetings he had with Baghdad authorities were crucial and successful,” said Zebari, who is a Kurd.

“The pending and basic issues between Baghdad and Erbil were discussed, including the questions of budget, oil, liberation of Mosul, intelligence and security coordination between Baghdad and Erbil, as well as the future of the Kurdistan Region with Baghdad,” he said.

Asked whether the Iraqi government was ready to sell Kurdish oil and provide the 17 percent budget share that constitutionally belongs to Erbil, Zebari said: “This topic was discussed. In fact there was such an agreement in the past… for exporting Kirkuk oil through the Kurdish pipelines to the Turkish Ceyhan port, and the revenue will be shared equally.”

“As of now a very good portion has been exported,” Zebari said.

According to the agreement signed following Barzani’s talks, at least 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Kirkuk will be jointly exported to Turkey by Erbil and Baghdad.

Regarding the question of Kurdish independence from Iraq, Zebari said: “this topic was discussed with representatives of our Shiite brothers. The future of Kurdistan and its shape were discussed.”

Zebari added that “We signed an agreement and formed two committees. In general, the taboo of topics that could not be discussed was broken.”