November 28, 2008

Iraqi Kurds approved to export oil

An Iraqi government official said Kurds in the province of Dahouk have been granted permission to export crude oil to international markets.

Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain Shahristani visited the region recently, after which ministry spokesman Asem Jihad said the Kurds had permission to ship oil to Turkey using a twin Iraqi pipeline.

The official did not say who would receive royalties from the shipments, but Kurds said production should reach 250,000 barrels a day by the end of next year. The three main oilfields in Dahouk should produce 1 million barrels a day in time, the Iraqi daily newspaper Azzaman reported Friday.

Azzaman said the Kurdish enclave in Iraq includes billions of barrels in three provinces: Dahouk, Arbil and Sulaimaniya.

Kurds are also interested in annexing the province of Kirkuk, where reserves are estimated at more than 15 billion barrels, the newspaper said.