Erbil Parliament: Northern Iraqi oil not sold directly to Israel

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Sherko Jawdat, the head of The Natural Resources Committee in Erbil, has denied allegations made in a recent Financial Times report that three quarters of Israeli oil is being imported from Northern Iraq, saying that the territory sells its oil to “companies, not states”.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Jawdat claimed that: “the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Erbil government has informed the committee that the territory sells its oil to oil companies, not states, and these companies are in turn free to sell the oil to any party or country afterwards.”

He explained that the Ministry of Natural Resources would not reveal the identity of the companies that buy oil from the territory.

On his part, Deputy Chairman of the Erbil Parliamentary Committee of Industry and Energy Dilshad Shaaba said to Anadolu that: “It is important for us to sell oil and increase the imports of the territory, and it does not matter whether it is being sold to Iran, Israel, Turkey or any other party.”

Shaaban also pointed out that “the territory is adhering to the Iraqi constitution and laws, and does not care about remarks from neighbouring countries, even from Baghdad, which claims that the territory sells oil to Israel.”

The Ministry of Natural Resources in Erbil announced on Sunday that oil imports during the current month of August have exceeded $1.5 billion, and confirmed that the territory was able to overcome the financial deficit of 2014.

A statement issued by the ministry said that it has secured a monthly income of $850 million until the year 2016 through providing oil to buyers in the future; explaining that the Ministry of Finance is responsible for receiving the funds coming from oil exports.

SOURCE: Middle East Monitor, 25/08/2015, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/20604-erbil-parliamen...