File photo shows an Iraqi Kurd working at the only oil refinery in Kurdistan.
Iraq’s Vice President Khudayr al-Khuzaie has warned against any oil exports from the Kurdistan region without the central government’s consent.
Khuzaie said in an interview on Monday that any crude export without Bagdad’s agreement would cause a crisis and a conflict between Kurdistan and the central government.
He also stated that the Kurdistan Regional Government is aware that it could not export oil to foreign countries without Baghdad’s approval, saying that disputes related to oil sales could only be settled based on the Iraqi constitution.
Kurdistan’s plan to export crude to international markets via Turkey has been a bone of contention between the semi-autonomous region and Baghdad.
Under the Iraqi constitution, any oil contract must be approved by Baghdad and its revenues sent to the treasury.
Earlier this month, Nechirvan Idris Barzani, the prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq said that the deal between the KRG and Ankara to pump oil to Turkey was finalized.
Under the deal, a new pipeline will be opened to export oil from Kurdistan region to international markets through Turkey.
On November 27, Baghdad warned Ankara over the opening of a new oil export pipeline from the autonomous Kurdish region.
The Iraqi government “threatens in case this signature happens, bilateral relations between Baghdad and Ankara will be damaged severely,” said Ali al-Musawi, a top advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.