Monday, June 01, 2009

Oil exports begin without oil law

Kurds start oil exports from northern Iraq

Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region has started exporting crude oil to foreign markets for the first time.

Companies chosen by the Kurdistan Regional Government will pump up to 90,000-100,000 barrels per day from two northern oilfields to Turkey.

The Baghdad government has allowed its pipeline to be used, in a deal that could begin resolving internal disputes over Iraq's substantial oil wealth.

The revenue will be shared between Baghdad, the Kurds and oil companies.

Kurdish President Massoud Barzani called a "giant step" at a lavish ceremony in Irbil.

"We are proud of this success, and this achievement will serve the interests of all Iraqis, especially the Kurds," he said.

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