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New Iraq oil minister says solution to conflict with Kurds possible

Baghdad wants to bring under its control the Kurdish regional government's crude oil exports

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Iraq’s new oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi on Monday said a solution to the Iraqi government's conflict over oil with the Kurdish self-ruled region was possible.

“There are solutions to the existing problems between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government about the oil file,” he told Baghdad-based Sumaria TV.

The conflict centers on the Kurdish region’s crude oil exports which Baghdad wants to bring under its control.

Luaibi, a former head of South Oil Company, spoke after he was sworn in as minister in Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s overhauled cabinet.

Opec’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, Iraq produces about 4.6 million barrels of crude oil per day, most of it from the southern region overseen by South Oil Company.

About 500,000 barrels per day are exported from the Kurdish region independently from Baghdad.