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Turkey says Iraqi oil pipeline will resume operations this week

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Turkey on Monday said an Iraqi oil pipeline that ceased operations in March because of a complex payments dispute involving the Kurdish autonomous region will resume pumping crude this week, Agence France-Presse reported.

Turkey closed the pipeline after an arbitration court ordered Ankara to pay about $1.5 billion in damages to Baghdad for transporting oil from the Kurdistan region without Iraq’s approval.

Ankara contested the decision and sought damages of its own.

The autonomous Kurdish region was exporting roughly 450,000 barrels of crude per day prior to the pipeline’s closure.

Turkish Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar told an energy forum in Abu Dhabi that the dispute has been settled and “we will start to operate [the pipeline] this week.”

He did not disclose details of the agreement.

Turkey had previously said it was making repairs to its section of the oil link in the wake of two powerful earthquakes in February.

The Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan autonomous region signed their own temporary oil accord in April.

The deal signaled the end of independent oil exports by northern Iraq’s Kurdish regional government.

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