By John Lee.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz (pictured) said today that Kurdish oil has started flowing to the Turkish port of Ceyhan via the new pipeline, but it will not be shipped to world markets without agreement from Baghdad.
According to Reuters, the Minister said he hopes a deal allowing exports to begin can be reached this month, adding that initial flow rates of 300,000 bpd should rise to 400,000 bpd.
Turkey recently signed a multi-billion-dollar deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government under which the KRG plans independent energy exports via Turkey.
Kurdistan could eventually export 2 million bpd of oil to world markets and at least 10 billion cubic metres per year of gas to Turkey.
Ankara has set up the Turkish Energy Company (TEC), a state-backed entity which has struck partnership deals with Exxon and will represent Turkey in dealings with Kurdistan.