Hawrami: Iraq’s Unity Hinges on Flexibility Over Kurd Oil

The KRG's Natural Resources Minister, Ashti Hawrami (pictured), has said that the Kurdish region could export 250,000 barrels of oil a day this year and is "on track" to ship 1 million bpd by 2015 and 2 million by 2019.

"We need to get oil from the Kurdistan region -- and more widely from northern Iraq -- to market," he said. "By 2019, over three million barrels per day of oil could flow through Iraq's northern energy corridor to Turkey and the international market. Export infrastructure must be built, but this requires tackling bottlenecks through additional feeder and export pipelines."

He continued:

"We wish to remain part of a democratic and federal Iraq, but given the country’s troubled history of authoritarian rule, we believe a decentralized oil policy and the sharing of power and wealth is essential to Iraq’s unity."

Hawrami’s comments came amid increasing speculation that the KRG may be preparing to build its own pipeline network to export oil and natural gas to neighboring Turkey, as a step toward economic self- sufficiency and, possibly, political independence, reports Bloomberg.

The KRG is entitled to and can make the oil and gas exports happen and prefers to do this with Baghdad,” Hawrami said. “But sadly, those in charge there refuse to honor agreements.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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