Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has kicked off the process of marketing its own crude, announcing plans to sell its first 2mn barrels from Turkey’s port of Ceyhan by international tender at the end of January. But Iraq’s Oil Minister ‘Abd al-Karim al-Laibi tells MEES that while Kurdish oil has reached storage tanks at Ceyhan, Ankara has still not given its blessing for independent exports.

“The KRG… gives public notice of the commencement of the sale of its first shipment of crude oil exported via Kurdistan Region’s new pipeline through Turkey”, said an 8 January statement on the KRG’s official website. Following the first 2mn barrels parcel slated for end-January sale, the size of the parcels is set to increase to 4mn barrels by end-February, 6mn barrels by end-March and 10-12mn barrels byDecember – implying 300,000 b/d exports by year-end – the statement said. Each parcel will be offered via competitive tender based on international pricing. (CONTINUED - 1200 WORDS)