Speaking at his meeting with Petroleum Platform Association (PETFORM) at Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz responded to allegations made by some northern Iraqi and Turkish media that around $90 billion of oil has already been exported without seeking Baghdad's approval.
"Turkey has no plans of making such an export at this moment," he said.
Yildiz emphasized that Turkey is hoping that Irbil and Baghdad will reach an agreement soon, so that 420-430,000 barrels of oil stored in Ceyhan can be exported.
"We wish more Iraqi oil to be transferred to international markets," Yildiz said.
In November 2013, Turkish and Kurdish regional administration officials signed an agreement that would enable Kurdish oil to flow from Taq Taq to the Ceyhan port on Turkey's south-eastern Mediterranean coast.The agreement allows Iraqi Kurdish oil to be stored and exported at times when no oil is pumped by the central Iraqi administration. Baghdad, however, says the agreement would violate the constitution if oil is exported through other channels apart from Iraq's national oil company (SOMO). The stored oil in Ceyhan has been awaiting Baghdad's approval to be exported. Irbil and Baghdad have carried out a series of meetings to reach an agreement on the issue.
Natural gas developments
Yildiz said with regards to the arbitration process with Iran on natural gas prices, which begins on February 17, that Iran has not offered a suitable discount so far and that Ankara will proceed with its arbitration process until Tehran agrees to a gas price revision.
Turkey's energy minister also underlined the importance of natural gas discoveries in the East Mediterranean. He said Israel continues to hold talks with certain Turkish companies on a possible pipeline which will carry natural gas to Europe through Turkey. "We are following the issue very closely, however we did not receive any offers so far from Israel," Yildiz said.