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Turkey claims compensation from Iraq for oil cuts

Written by: Staff

ANKARA, Apr 24 (Reuters) The Turkish government has claimed 600 million dollars from Iraq in compensation for its losses stemming from a failure to export petroleum via Turkey, an energy ministry official said today.

Flows through the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline have been sporadic due to sabotage attacks since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Iraqi officials have said it will take months before Iraq can resume exports via Turkey.

''In the Iraqi part of the pipeline, there are sporadic sabotages and failure with oil transports harms Turkey.

Compensation appears to be the only option,'' the ministry official told Reuters.

Turkish energy and foreign affairs officials have sought the payment under a deal that obliges Baghdad to pump petroleum or pay compensation.

Turkey's claim includes 120 million dollars overdue from the 1990s under a United Nations food-for-oil programme for Iraq.

In February Baghdad agreed to reschedule 1.02 billion dollars owed to Turkish firms for their oil products sales and pay the debt plus an interest charge this year.

Turkish exports to Iraq were around 2.7 billion dollars in 2005.

Turkish contractors have also won projects worth a total 2.4 billion dollars in Iraq since 2003.

An Iraqi officials said today the country hopes to raise oil exports to 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2006, from 1.5 million bpd now, as part of a plan to overhaul its crippled oil sector.


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