By John Lee.
Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz (pictured) has announced that Turkey is ready to market oil from the Kurdish region, currently stored at the port of Ceyhan.
Beginning May 2nd, Turkey will market some 1.5 million barrels of oil from storage tanks (which are nearing full capacity) and minister Yildiz said this would go ahead regardless of a deal between Baghdad and Erbil.
Negotiations between leaders in Baghdad and the leadership of the Kurdish regional government have been ongoing for years since the Kurdish region started signing contracts unilaterally with foreign oil companies.
This has infuriated Baghdad, who claim the move is unconstitutional, and until recently moves to find compromise have at best jerked forward, only to hit a stumbling block. Minister Yildiz explained Turkey's move in terms of the regional market:
"Turkey believes that oil sales will contribute to solving domestic Iraqi problems. Iraq switched places with Iran in terms of volume after sanctions on Iranian oil. The exports figures rose significantly from a previous level of 4 million tons and we did not demand any price discount for Iraqi oil."
(Source: Daily Sabah)