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Iraq halts crude exports from Kurdistan, Kirkuk after arbitration win against Turkey: report

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Iraq has suspended crude exports of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and northern Kirkuk fields after winning a long-running arbitration case against Turkey, according to an oil official who spoke to Reuters.

Baghdad has argued that Turkey violated a joint agreement by allowing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to export oil through a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Baghdad deems KRG exports to be illegal.

A senior oil ministry official said that “Iraq was officially informed by the International Court of Arbitration of the final ruling on Thursday, and it was in favor of Iraq.”

Turkey has reportedly told Iraq that it will respect the arbitration ruling. Turkish shipping officials also said no ship would be allowed to load Kurdish crude without approval from the Iraqi government.

Before the halt, Iraq had been pumping 370,000 bpd of KRG crude and 75,000 bpd of federal crude through the pipeline.

The oil ministry will send a delegation to Turkey soon to meet with energy officials to establish a new mechanism for exporting Iraq’s northern crude oil in line with the arbitration ruling, said another oil ministry official.

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