The amount of Iraqi Kurdish crude oil shipped to third countries via Turkey has reached 6.5 million barrels with the seventh tanker now sailing away, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said.
“The seventh tanker has been loaded and its delivery has been completed,” the minister said, answering reporters’ questions after hosting Turkey’s Union of Marble, Natural Stıne and Machinery Manufacturers (TUMMER) in Ankara on Aug. 18.
The minister has said a total of 7.8 million barrels of oil has been exported from Kurdish Regional Government-controlled northern Iraq.
However, he said, the deliveries have been halted “due to some works being done regarding the piping systems.”
Around $350 million in oil sales have been completed or are under way from shipments sent via the KRG’s new pipeline to Turkey, a Reuters analysis of satellite tracking data shows. The first vessel of pipeline crude sailed in May.
Asked about the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) increasing control over oil fields in Iraq, Yıldız said Turkey was continuing to see the Iraqi authorities as the sole addressee in the country.
“ISIL is not our addressee in any matters. We do our studies regarding the energy sector in this way,” he said.
“It is at the issue for some fields and blocs changing hands. There is a serious political instability, but this doesn’t change our perspective,” he added.
He also re-asserted the income yielded from the Kurdish oil sales would be shared among the central Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurdish government in Arbil, in compliance with the Iraqi Constitution.
The KRG oil cargoes are coming under greater scrutiny after Iraq won a U.S. court order 10 days ago to seize a 1 million-barrel shipment that arrived in the Gulf of Mexico. Several cargoes of Kurdish Shaikan crude have recently reached the United States, and Iraq’s central government has moved to block independent exports of crude by the KRG.