Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline belongs to Kurdistan

September 22, 2010 - By Baq Barzani

Iraqi Central government strives hard to block Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) prerogatives over exploration, production and export of petroleum resources in Kurdistan.

Independent contracts signed by KRG with numerous private international oil firms such as” Norway’s DNO, Heritage Oil (Canada), Al-Aabar Petroleum (UAE), Switzerland-based Addax Petroleum Corp were previously considered“ unauthorized” and “ unconstitutional” by Iraqi anti-Kurdish oil minister, Husayn al-Shahristani.

Not only has the central Bagdad government bereaved KRG of its inherent, legitimate rights to a fraction of the intact Iraqi oil, which theoretically belongs to all Iraqi populace irrespective of ethnic composition, but also it deems reserving monopolistic right over trading Kurdish oil fields in and surrounding Kirkuk and other major parts of Kurdistan to foreign states short of any deliberation with KRG.

Having cut supplies of some fuel products to Kurdistan by 50 percent earlier, and incessantly warning to abolish all existing oil contracts in force in Kurdistan, Shahristani abuses his authority and acts on behalf of certain permeating governments. He has admittedly received millions of dollars in enticement money and continues to serve adjacent Syria, Iran and Turkey by permitting them to plunder the Iraqi national assets irrationally.

Turkish Lobbies in Washington, DC and Turkish firms in Iraq such as Turkey’s Turkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakligi (Turkish Petroleum Corporation—TPA O) are acquiring oil contracts by means of offering bribe to corrupt Iraqi officials in Bagdad, including Shahristani.

On September 19th, Shahristani extended a 15-year accord with Taner Yildiz, Turkish Energy Minister, to export oil from the Kurdish Kirkuk oil fields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan devoid of any endorsement from or the slightest coordination with Kurdish authorities whatsoever.

Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, also known as the Iraqi Turkish pipeline, runs from Kirkuk, Kurdistan to the Ceyhan in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The link carries an average of 500,000 barrels of oil a day and its capacity is expected to soon upgrade.

Located in the Kurdistani Kurdish Kirkuk province, Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline directly rests in sphere of KRG’s influence. Implementation of article 140 should automatically incorporate Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline into KRG geography.

Since KRG officials were not summoned to attend the oil-contract extension ceremony signed between Iraq and Turkey, nor were its views inquired on the matter, therefore, KRG reserves the right to annul any enforced contracts between Baghdad with its neighboring countries likewise.

Iraqi oil is being overpumped and overproduced in every corner of Iraq, with most of it streaming into the pouches of the neighboring Turkey, Iran, and Syria. Clannish leaders in South of Iraq have launched their own hush-hush oil-producing and oil-selling corporations.

Indicated figures and diagrams by the Iraqi ministry of oil do not reflect the true information about the oil production, consumption and export proportions.

OnOnly estimated 15 percent of Iraq's oil reserves are located in and around Kirkuk, Mosul and Khanaqin. About two-thirds of production comes from the southern fields.
Signing a 15 year contract on behalf of Kurdish officials is null and void. It is a deliberate act of depriving a nation of its intrinsic rights and pilfering its national assets.

Instead of opposing the Kurds, Shahristani needs to divert a modicum of his focus to the abuse, mismanagement and embezzlement of government funds and resources that is occurring in central and Southern parts of Iraq in an immeasurable rate.

Republic of Iraq Ministry of Oil
Reuters: Iraq, Turkey sign renewed oil pipeline accord
Iraq Conflict Briefing
Energy profile of Iraq
Iraqi Kurdistan: Talks Continue As Baghdad Cuts Oil Supplies