Iraqi Kurdistan sees oil output at 2 mln
bpd by 2019
Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan's Minister of Natural
Resources. Photo: Reuters
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June 5, 2012
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Iraqi Kurdistan aims to
increase lift oil production to 2 million barrels
per day (bpd) by 2019 and wants companies to build
pipelines so the fuel can reach foreign markets,
Kurdistan's Minister of Natural Resources Ashti
Hawrami said on Tuesday.
The semi-autonomous region expects output to reach 1
million bpd by 2015, Hawrami told a panel at a World
Economic Forum meeting in Istanbul, but did not say
which companies or projects would help it achieve
Output in Kurdish-run northern Iraq has fallen
sharply to an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 bpd after
exports were halted in March amid a dispute with the
central government in Baghdad over oil-revenue
"We think we can go to 2 million by 2019," Hawrami
Another 1 million bpd from neighbouring Iraqi
provinces could also flow through Kurdistan to
export markets, he said.
The Kurdistan region, which has its own government
and armed forces, has already clashed with Iraq's
central government over autonomy and oil rights, and
halted its crude exports in April after accusing
Baghdad of not making due payments.
The dispute is part of a broader political crisis in
Iraq, where a fragile government composed of Shi'ite,
Sunni and Kurdish blocs is struggling to overcome
deep splits over power-sharing.
"If Iraq is serious about reaching 8 million bpd of
exports, at least 3 million of it will come from the
north," Hawrami said. "Within a couple of years
there will be additional infrastructure to get the
isolated crude of Kurdistan to market."
The existing pipeline from Kirkuk's oilfields to the
Turkish port of Ceyhan has maximum capacity of about
1.5 million bpd, though only about a third of that
flows through the aging link,www.ekurd.net
often the target of attacks by insurgents in Iraq
Hawrami said his administration wants the private
sector to build a new pipeline link that would
solely carry the heavy crude extracted from Kurdish
fields within two years.
"This is not an alternative to Kirkuk-Ceyhan, but
additional capacity, and it is not really a pipeline
to bypass current infrastructure," he said.
Kurdistan aims to double export capacity by next
year from the current 300,000 bpd or so and then
lift it to 1 million bpd, he said.
Exports by the end of 2012 are seen at 175,000 bpd,
the Kurdistan Regional Government has said.
As for natural gas, the Kurdish region will be ready
to export it within a couple of years, Hawrami said.
Turkey will be the primary destination, and excess
gas will be shipped on in whatever facilities exist,
Turkish trade with the Kurdish region of Iraq is
about $8 billion, but as energy exports increase,
Kurdistan could become Turkey's top trading partner,
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