Baghdad’s insistence that IOCs in Kurdistan replace their existing production sharing contracts (PSCs) is continuing to prevent the restart of the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline (ITP) which has been shut since March. A new round of meetings between Iraqi officials and their counterparts from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in recent days had raised hopes of a breakthrough, but there is no sign of Iraq compromising on its stance.
The high-level meetings were kicked-off by a two-day visit to Erbil by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani on 9 November, followed by another two-day round of talks led by Oil Minister Hayan Abdulghani. Accompanied by senior ministry officials, Mr Abdulghani on 12 November met Kamal Salih, the KRG’s acting Minister of Natural Resources as well as Kurdish PM Masrour Barzani, followed by President Nechirvan Barzani on 13 November. Discussions revolved around “mechanisms to resume production and export operations,” the Iraqi oil ministry says. (CONTINUED - 782 WORDS)