News ID: 167684
Published: 0659 GMT August 27, 2016

Iraq mulls oil sales via Iran

Iraq mulls oil sales via Iran

The Iraqi government would consider sales of crude through Iran should talks with the autonomous Kurdish region on an oil revenue-sharing agreement fail, a senior Oil Ministry official in Baghdad told Reuters.

Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) plans to hold talks with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), possibly next week, about Iraqi oil exported through Turkey, Deputy Oil Minister Fayadh al-Nema said.

"If the negotiations come to a close" without an agreement "we will start to find a way in order to sell our oil because we need money, either to Iran or other countries," he said by telephone.

Iraq, OPEC's second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, depends on oil sales for 95 percent of its public income. Its economy is reeling under the double impact of low oil prices and the war against Daesh terrorists.

The Kurdistan region produces around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) on its territory and exports those via Turkey. Baghdad would not be able to reroute those volumes to Iran but could order shipments of some 150,000 bpd via Iran that are being produced in the nearby province of Kirkuk.

An agreement between Iran and Iraq could function in a similar fashion as oil-swap deals Tehran has had with Caspian Sea nations, according to an oil official who asked not to be identified.

Iran would import Iraqi oil to its refineries and export an equivalent amount of its own crude on behalf of Baghdad from Iranian ports on the Persian Gulf. Iraq has ports on the Persian Gulf but they are not linked to the northern Kirkuk fields by pipeline.

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