Turkey could stop Iraq's Kurdish oil exports for referendum: expert

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-20 02:56:43|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ANKARA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Turkey could stop the oil exports of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) if the latter insists on the independence referendum, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Tuesday.

Volkan Ozdemir, head of the Ankara-based Institute for Energy Markets and Policies, said Turkey holds "important power in its hands," as the KRG's oil trade is conducted through Turkish territories.

If Turkey stops KRG's oil transfer, the KRG's independence plan could be shelved, he said.

Ozdemir explained that KRG has exported its oil to international markets through Turkey in the last few years, independently from Baghdad's central government.

He added that the oil revenue-sharing deal between the governments in Baghdad and Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan Region, has already lost its validity.

"At a time when oil prices are getting close to 60 U.S. dollars per barrel, Erbil gained economic independence from Baghdad with the help of this trade," Ozdemir said.

As one of the most important income for KRG, the oil trade has been largely dependent on land transportation through border gates with Turkey.