Ali al-Moussawi, media adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, says the deals must abide by the constitution and laws that govern relations between Baghdad and the Kurdish north. Moussawi's statement on Monday came a day after Iraqi Kurds announced a deal with Ankara that would allow them to export oil through Turkey and on to the international market, bypassing Baghdad.
In the meantime, Turkey, which has an annual natural gas consumption anticipated to reach 50 billion cubic meters this year, has placed great importance on maintaining the security of its oil and natural gas supply. Speaking in Arbil on Sunday, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız said Turkey expected to see Iraq increase its role as an energy provider in the near future as part of efforts to diversify supply channels for energy-poor Turkey. Also speaking at same event, Ashti Hawrami, natural resources minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), said the KRG was also developing plans to build a separate pipeline that could connect to a refinery in Turkey's Ceyhan port by 2014. "In August 2013 we will be able to directly export crude [oil] from the Kurdish region's fields," he said.
Yıldız stated that the Turkish government has plans to establish an electricity production hub near the Iraqi border and may sell electricity to Iraq in exchange for natural gas. A similar system of exchange for Iraqi oil was suspended in 2007. “We could resume buying crude oil from Iraq and selling petroleum products back to them,” Yıldız suggested, adding that Turkey expected the current Kirkuk-Yumurtalık crude oil pipeline to be operating at full capacity.
The state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) holds operating rights for Iraq's Mansuriya and Siba natural gas fields for the next 20 years. The two fields have reserves equal to 10 percent of Iraq's total proven natural gas reserves.