Iraq-Turkey Pipeline Restart Talks Exclude Industry Representation, APIKUR Says

(Reuters) — APIKUR, which represents international companies involved in upstream oil or gas contracts in Iraq's Kurdistan region, have not been contacted by Iraqi or Kurdish officials for a deal to allow the resumption of oil flows from the Iraq-Turkey pipeline.

Last Sunday, Iraqi oil minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani in a meeting with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials said he could reach a deal with all the parties concerned - including foreign oil companies - to resume oil production from the oilfields within three days.

On Friday, in an APIKUR statement seen by Reuters, the group said although these discussions are a "potentially positive step," its members were not invited to this meeting and had not received any official communications of the meeting's outcomes.

No final deal was reached at the meeting, a source familiar with the matter said.

"We're awaiting official communication ... for the next steps," APIKUR spokesperson Myles Caggins said in a statement to Reuters.

Any agreement will require the endorsement of Iraqi, Kurdish officials and APIKUR.

Turkey halted 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of northern exports through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline from March 25 after an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration ruling.

The ICC ordered Ankara to pay Baghdad damages of about $1.5 billion for unauthorized exports by the KRG between 2014 and 2018.

Iraqi government oil officials met representatives of the Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (APIKUR) for the first-time last week.

International oil companies operating in the region will not produce oil for pipeline exports until the issue of overdue payments estimated at nearly $1 billion is resolved, APIKUR member DNO said earlier this month.

According to APIKUR, more than $7 billion in export revenue has evaporated since the pipeline closure in March.

Iraq, OPEC's second-largest oil producer, exports about 85% of its crude via ports in the south. The northern route via Turkey accounts for about 0.5% of global oil supply.

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