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Official pledges end to Iraqi-Kurdish oil dispute 'within days'

Iraqi oil minister announces forthcoming deal between Iraqi Kurdish and central governments to reopen Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline
The aftermath of an explosion at the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline - AFP

“We want to increase the amount of oil pumped through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline to more than a million barrels per day”. 

With this bold statement, Iraqi oil minister Abdul Karim Luaibi announced plans to resume pumping oil to Turkey within the week.

The announcement came this morning, as Luaibi addressed a conference on oil and gas production in Ankara, Turkey. 

His words point to a renewed effort to heal the rift between the rift between Iraq’s central government and the autonomous Kurdish leadership. 

The pipeline, which runs from Kirkuk in Northern Iraq to Turkey’s southern city of Ceyhan, ceased operation in early March amid increased IED attacks. 

The state-owned North Oil Company which exports oil through the pipeline have described the past year as “the most violent since 2003”. 

The pipeline has been a frequent flashpoint for relations between the Kurdish and central Iraqi governments, with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki alleging in 2012 that the Kurdish authorities were “smuggling” oil for sale on the black market.