Kirkuk province's Kurdish governor Najim al-Din Omar Karim (R) talks with an innjured man as he pays a visit to wounded people at an hospital on January 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN IBRAHIM
BAGHDAD: The authorities in Iraq's self-ruled northern Kurdish region say they've unilaterally started exporting crude oil through Turkey despite objections by the central government in Baghdad.
The Kurds' regional Natural Resources Ministry said in a statement late Wednesday that pumping started in early January.
The oil is being shipped north through a newly constructed pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, bypassing Baghdad.
The Kurdish ministry has invited companies to participate in a January tender for the 2 million barrels already deposited in Ceyhan. It anticipates an increase in exports to 4 million barrels in February and 6 million barrels in March, with the goal of 10-12 million barrels in December.
Kurds and Arab-led government in Baghdad have been in a long-running dispute over who is in charge of oil exports.
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