The 4 April landmark deal between Iraq’s central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan regional government (KRG) was explicitly intended to kickstart northern oil exports, leaving key details to be thrashed out later (MEES, 7 April). But Turkey sees things differently and is holding off on re-opening the pipeline which connects to its Ceyhan export terminal as it seeks reassurances from Baghdad over further legal action. As a result, the shut down has dragged on for a third week.

This means that approximately 500,000 b/d of crude oil exports from northern Iraq remain stranded, with no route to market (MEES, 31 March). Turkey closed the pipeline on 25 March after the ICC awarded Baghdad $1.47bn in damages for permitting the export of KRG-marketed crude through the system against Baghdad’s wishes. (CONTINUED - 1896 WORDS)