Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, to discuss expanding energy cooperation.
Iraq’s Kurds are hoping to start pumping oil to Turkey before the end of this year via a pipeline controlled by the central government in Baghdad, Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government said upon his arrival in Ankara yesterday, according to CNNTurk television today.
Turkey and Iraq’s Kurds are also working on contracts to expand the operations of Turkey’s state-backed Turkish Energy Company, which holds exploration licenses in 13 blocks in northern Iraq, and are also discussing the construction of a natural gas pipeline between Turkey and the neighboring Kurdish region, the Energy Ministry said.
Erdogan and Barzani were expected to review contracts and may possibly sign some deals in today’s meeting in Ankara, the Energy Ministry said. Barzani was expected to travel to Baghdad after the meetings in Turkey to inform the central government about progress, Turkey’s state-run TRT television said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was also expected to visit Turkey next month to discuss energy cooperation, the Energy Ministry said.
Turkey wants to fully utilize the Baghdad-controlled Turkey-Iraq pipeline through which Iraqi Kurds are expected to start pumping oil to Turkey’s Mediterranean oil terminal of Ceyhan. Turkey separately want to build a new oil pipeline to carry oil from Basra to Turkey, Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said yesterday.
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