Turkey played a key role in transferring Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) oil to the international market, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Saturday. Speaking to reporters from the Iraqi Kurdish region in Ankara, Yildiz said: "the oil transfer couldn't be materialized if Turkey was not in it because the central government in Baghdad did not allow it."
Talking about relations between the KRG, the central Iraqi government and Turkey, Yildiz said that "we have important relations, agreements, contracts with them".
Yildiz spoke about the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline (ITP), which carried oil for 40 years from Iraq to international markets via Turkey:
"I hope it will work for more than 140 years, and the income belongs to our Iraqi brothers.
“The income of oil is shared 17 percent for the KRG and 83 percent for other parts of Iraq according to Iraq's law and we do not change, we do not interfere," added Yildiz.
At the moment, both the KRG and the central government in Baghdad are importing refined oil from Turkey via the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
There are a total of 58 oil wells in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, 28 in Sulaymaniyah and 30 in Erbil and Duhok, while a total of 25 foreign oil companies are operating in the region, the largest being Anglo-Turkish outfit, Genel Energy.
In July, crude oil exports from Iraq to Turkey's southern province of Ceyhan, where oil is stored and shipped to international markets, totaled 16 million barrels.
The Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline has a capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day. The pipeline is critical for northern Iraqi oil exports.
Talking about the natural gas price which Turkey will buy at from Iraq in 2017, Yildiz said that Turkey will not buy at half price; however, he added, it is normal to pay less as a neighboring country.
The expected amount of natural gas is four billion cubic meters. The volume may increase by two billion cubic meters every year, and will eventually reach 10 billion cubic meters.