Iraq Halts Oil Supply Via Turkey Pipeline

Iraq Halts Oil Supply Via Turkey PipelineIraq Halts Oil Supply Via Turkey Pipeline

Iraq’s state-run North Oil Company has stopped pumping crude produced at fields it operates in the Kirkuk area through a pipeline to Turkey, three sources said. The pipeline carries crude to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, where the Kurds have been selling it independently on the international market, along with oil produced in their autonomous region, Reuters reported. North Oil Company normally exports 150,000 barrels a day through the pipeline. The order to halt pumping through the pipeline came from the oil ministry in Baghdad, according to an NOC official, who asked not be identified. “There is no technical failure, it’s a decision from Baghdad,” he said. Kurdish forces took control of the long-disputed Kirkuk and its oilfields in June 2014 after the Iraqi Army’s northern divisions disintegrated as the self-styled Islamic State militants overran a third of the country. Since then, NOC has continued pumping crude through the pipeline, which was idle for more than three weeks. North Oil is continuing to produce the crude, but storing it in Kirkuk instead of exporting it through the pipeline, the NOC source said.