(Bloomberg) -- Turkey wants to negotiate with Iraq a settlement that it’s been ordered to pay before an oil pipeline that exports 400,000 barrels a day is reopened, according to two Turkish officials familiar with the situation.
A legal spat between the two countries halted a pipeline that carried crude from semi-autonomous Kurdistan on March 25. Baghdad, which has for years claimed control of Kurdish exports, agreed with the regional government this week to resume shipments. But it could be delayed by payments owed by Turkey to Iraq, adding to concerns over tight global oil supplies following big OPEC+ output cuts.
The Turkish officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, refused to elaborate on whether the country is seeking to reduce the compensation or determine a mechanism for how to make the payments. The Kurdistan Regional Government has said it would be able to restart supplies this week, but any negotiations could hold up the process.
Iraq had been awarded a net $1.5 billion in compensation by an international business tribunal, after a ruling last month that Turkey breached an agreement by allowing crude from Kurdistan to be exported without Baghdad’s consent, according to a March 30 statement from lawyers that represented the country. Turkey hasn’t commented on the amount.
The Turkish government declined to comment and Iraq’s oil ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. “The federal government has to take necessary steps and actions to make sure Turkey will restore the oil exports,” said Lawk Ghafuri, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s head of foreign media relations.
--With assistance from Verity Ratcliffe and Khalid Al-Ansary.
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