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Iraq's Kurds Begin Oil Exports To Turkey

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz speaks at a news conference in Ankara on January 2.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz says that crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan has started flowing through a new pipeline that leads to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

Yildiz told reporters on January 2 that the oil would be put in storage facilities until the Iraqi central government gives consent for exports to world markets to start.

Turkey and authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan reached the oil export agreement without the participation of the government in Baghdad.

Iraq's central government has made clear it will not accept any deals for Iraqi oil or gas that are not approved by the government in Baghdad.

Iraq's government also threatened that any foreign companies signing deals without the central government risked losing the right to do business in Iraq.

Yildiz said Turkey hoped an agreement can be reached with Baghdad later this month.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP