In yet another week of scrambled messages between Baghdad and Erbil, foreign operators in the northern region are carrying on with their plans to produce more oil from their production sharing licenses in the hope that this year will see the resumption of oil exports. The volume of Kurdish crude held at Turkey’s Ceyhan port has reportedly risen to 1mn barrels, but Ankara has not yet authorized exports by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz says that Kurdish oil is being stored at Ceyhan, and cites a far higher number than had previously been reported. Yet the exact volume is difficult to assess as the KRG has given no further update since announcing the start of oil flow through its independent oil pipeline at the end of last year (MEES, 20 December). Shipping sources in Ceyhan, meanwhile, say that they have not been allowed to approach the tanks, though one said he believed there was no more than 400,000 barrels of Kurdish oil in storage. (CONTINUED - 1664 WORDS)