Ankara has officially notified Baghdad that its portion of the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline (ITP) is ready to receive crude oil from northern Iraq for exports to the Mediterranean oil terminal of Ceyhan. The pipeline has been offline for more than six months, following the late-March International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration ruling against Turkey’s enabling of independent Kurdistan oil exports (MEES, 31 March), although Turkey has attributed the closure to earthquake damage.

The move now places the legal and political burden on Iraq to restart flows, but Baghdad appears in no hurry to do so. A restart would require that Baghdad reaches deals with the IOCs operating in Kurdistan and traders of Kurdish oil, but serious talks are yet to take place. (CONTINUED - 934 WORDS)