Following the Iraqi government’s seizure of key oilfields and infrastructure in Kirkuk, Kurdish crude oil exports to Turkey have more than halved, Reuters reports.
On Wednesday, oil flows through the Kurdish-controlled pipeline to Turkey fell to 225,000 barrels a day (b/d), according to Reuters. The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) had previously been exporting 600,000 b/d.
Technical issues at the Bai Hassan and Avana oilfields have slowed production by approximately 350,000 b/d, Iraqi officials told Reuters.
The Northern Oil Company, a state-owned company, will send engineers to Kirkuk to “maintain continuity in production and exports for all Iraq,” the Director General of the NOC, Farid El Jadir, told Platts.
Both Iraqi and Kurdish authorities have emphasized the importance of maintaining oil production despite their differences, according to Platts
Traders interviewed by Platts expressed a wait-and-see approach.
“People are certainly watching what happens, but no one seems to be doing anything specific,” one trader, noting that exports remained unaffected, told Platts.
“This should not impact the market all that much because Baghdad and Erbil will have to find some agreement at some point,” another industry source told Platts.
Earlier this week, the Iraqi central government commenced an operation to regain control of areas administered by the KRG outside its legally recognized semi-autonomous region. A recent non-binding independence referendum in KRG-administered areas accentuated already strained relations between Irbil and Baghdad.