Ararat News –Publishing (ANP) – Anahit Khatchikian, Brussels – 2 / 6 / 2009 – Historic day for the Kurdistan : Up to 100,000 barrels per day are pumped from two oil fields in Federal Kurdistan in Iraq for sale in foreign markets. The Kurdish oil minister, Ashti Hawrami, hopes Kurdish oil exports will increase up to 450,000 barrels a day in next years and reach 2 million after four years. The Kurdish oil will go through a pipeline to neighboring Turkey, port of Ceyhan, on the Mediterranean Sea.

For years, the central Iraqi government in Baghdad was against the oil exports from the Federal Kurdistan territory fearing the expansion of the Kurdish self ruled area. The neighbouring countries Iran, Syria and Turkey which are surrounding Kurdistan and have a large Kurdish communities without fundamental human rights were also against the Kurdish oil export.

Despite this strong opposition several international oil companies from Norway, Switzerland, Canada and Turkey signed agreements with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). After the falling of the oil prices and the deep budget crises, the Iraqi authorities were constraints to compromise with the Kurds and to permit the oil exports from the fields.

While Iraqi President Jalal Talabani stressed the historical importance of the event, not only for the Kurdish people but for all Iraqis, Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government said that the cooperation between Kurdistan Region in Iraq and Baghdad administrations is useful and beneficial for all. Therefore this strategic cooperation will continue.

Indeed, the Kurdish oil exports will be in favour of the Iraqi government which will receive the greater part of the earnings, while KRG will get 17 percent.

The Norwegian companies, DNO and General LG said “it was a good investment opportunity in Kurdistan region conducive to reconstruction of region.