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Iraq top court orders Kurdistan to ship all oil to Baghdad

(Photo: Envato Elements)
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s top court on Tuesday ordered the autonomous Kurdistan region to deliver all oil produced there to the federal government in Baghdad — a move that could reignite long-standing tensions.اضافة اعلان

A ruling by the federal Supreme Court stipulates that the Kurdistan Regional Government deliver “the entire production of oil fields in Kurdistan” to the federal government.

But Kurdish authorities are unlikely to comply with the ruling, given years of disputes over Baghdad’s share of Kurdish petrol.

Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The nearly 3.5 million barrels per day exported by the country account for more than 90 percent of Iraq’s income.

The court’s ruling, published on its website, also called on the Kurdish authorities to “review all oil contracts entered into by Kurdistan for the export and sale of oil and gas”.

Iraq’s federal government has long called for all oil exports in the country to go through it, having previously lashed out at Turkey in 2012 and 2014 for its role in refining and re-exporting oil produced in the Kurdistan region.

According to a deal struck between Baghdad and the Kurdish capital Erbil, the Kurdish region delivers 250,000 of its more than 400,000 barrels of oil per day to Baghdad, in return for its share of the federal budget.

The share is used to pay the salaries of Kurdish civil servants and peshmerga fighters.

The Kurdistan region, which has been autonomous since 1991, held a referendum on independence in 2017 that inflamed tensions with the federal government. 

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