Iraq to Sell Crude via Iran If Talks with Kurds Come to Close: Deputy FM

Iraq to Sell Crude via Iran If Talks with Kurds Come to Close: Deputy FM

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior Iraqi oil ministry official said Baghdad would consider selling crude through Iran if talks with the Arab country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region on an oil revenue-sharing agreement fail.

"If the negotiations come to a close" without an agreement "we will start to find a way in order to sell our oil because we need money, either to Iran or other countries", Deputy Oil Minister Fayadh al-Nema told Reuters recently.

He added that Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) plans to hold talks with Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), possibly next week, about Iraqi oil exported through Turkey.

The Kurdistan region produces around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) on its territory and exports those volumes via Turkey. Baghdad would not be able to reroute those volumes to Iran but could order shipments of some 150,000 bpd via Iran that are being produced in the nearby province of Kirkuk.

A potential agreement between Iran and Iraq could function in a similar fashion as oil-swap deals Tehran has had with Caspian Sea nations.

Iran would import Iraqi oil to its refineries and export an equivalent amount of its own crude on behalf of Baghdad from Iranian ports on the Persian Gulf. Iraq has ports on the Persian Gulf but they are not linked to the northern Kirkuk fields by pipeline.

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