Baghdad waiting for Kurdish response on oil plan

Jan. 29, 2014 at 7:58 AM

BAGHDAD, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Iraq's deputy prime minister called on the government in the Kurdish north to respond to a proposal from Baghdad on oil sales from the region.

Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani sent a written proposal to the Kurdish government calling for oil sales from the region to be handled by the State Oil Market Organization. Once funds are deposited, the Kurdish government would draw 17 percent of its share in the revenue to pay oil companies, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Genel Energy, a company with large investments in the Kurdish north, said in mid-January exports of Kurdish oil through a pipeline to Turkey are "expected to commence in the near future."

The Kurdistan Regional Government has already sent oil to a storage facility at the Turkish port of Ceyhan and Genel said deliveries should ramp up throughout 2014.

A January announcement from the KRG that its oil was delivered to Ceyhan prompted threats of legal action from the central government in Baghdad, which says unilateral energy deals with the Kurdish government are illegal.

There was no response as of early Wednesday from the KRG on Shahristani's proposal.

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