by Daily Sabah with Agencies
Mar 15, 2016 12:00 am
The North Oil Company, a Northern Iraqi oil firm controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), has suspended shipment of crude oil from reserves in Kirkuk to the southern city of Ceyhan along the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline. According to information obtained from two sources, the Central Government of Iraq's Crude Oil Ministry passed the decision to suspend oil shipments to the pipeline.
A North Oil Company statement submitted to Reuters by an anonymous authority from the company said there are no technical or other faults or breakdowns regarding the oil fields in Kirkuk but that the decision was passed by Baghdad government.
The source stressed that the company is continuing its petrol production in fields in Kirkuk; however, instead of the ordinary procedure of transferring the oil to the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, the crude oil obtained is being stored in warehouses in Kirkuk.
Another authority from the KRG also confirmed that the pipeline was not receiving any crude oil from the North Oil Company at the moment.
Meanwhile, in the beginning of March, Genel Energy CEO Murat Özgül announced that the flow of oil from the KRG in Northern Iraq to Turkey would restart within the coming days. Özgül also added that Turkey will strengthen the security of the pipelines against possible sabotage and attacks.
At the end of February, the Energy Ministry said it began repairing a pipeline that transports crude oil from Northern Iraq to the Mediterranean coast. Previously, the ministry announced that the delivery of crude oil via the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline came to a halt on Feb. 17 after it was attacked by PKK terrorists. The PKK launched another attack against the pipeline Thursday near the southeastern town of İdil in the province of Şırnak. "Security forces have taken necessary steps to ensure the pipeline's safety ... we expect to restart the oil delivery soon," the ministry announced.
The pipeline is a vital source of revenue for the KRG, and cuts across restive areas of southeastern Turkey where security forces are trying to route PKK terrorists.