Iraq to halt Kirkuk oil exports to Iran, may resume them to Turkey

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Iraq will stop trucking crude from its northern Kirkuk oilfield to Iran in November to comply with sanctions imposed on its neighbor by the United States, two sources familiar with Iraqi oil export operations said on Friday.

Currently, Iraq is exporting less than 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) to Iran via truck, the sources told Reuters.

“Kirkuk oil trucking to Iran will be halted in November in line with the American sanctions against Iran. (State oil marketer) SOMO plans to sell 30,000 bpd from a small oilfield near Mosul as of November as an alternative. SOMO issued the tender on Thursday,” one source said.

Former prime minister Haider al-Abadi’s outgoing federal government agreed a deal in mid-October with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to resume exporting crude to Turkey's Ceyhan port via the KRG, the sources also said.

The deal is subject to final approval by newly appointed Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban, they added.

“Kurdish authorities reached a deal with Abadi’s government to resume Kirkuk exports and it was decided that the final say should be left to the new government and oil minister to sign a final deal,” one source said.

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