Iraq threatens legal action over Kurdish oil sales

Jan. 13, 2014 at 5:37 AM
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BAGHDAD, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Iraq's Oil Ministry threatened legal action against entities that receive oil from the northern Kurdish region, singling out a deal made with Turkey.

The Turkish seaport of Ceyhan is set to receive the first oil from the Kurdish region of Iraq this month and the ministry said Sunday the move "is an avowed violation of the Iraqi constitution."

The Kurdistan Regional Government and the central government in Iraq are at odds over who controls what aspects of the country's oil sector,

The central government took aim at its Turkish counterparts in particular, saying the oil sale would violate the spirit of regional agreements not to export crude oil from Iraq without the government's consent, the Voices of Iraq news agency reported..

The Kurdish government said last week it was inviting "reputable and financially capable companies" to register for crude oil sales. The first parcel of 2 million barrels of oil will be sold by the end of January.

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