Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz speaks during an interview with Reuters in Ankara January 30, 2014. (REUTERS/Umit BEktas)
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Turkey will stand by a consensus reached in December between Ankara, Baghdad and Irbil to seek Baghdad's permission, but not its blessing, in exporting Iraqi Kurdistan's oil, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Thursday.Turkey signed a series of landmark deals with Iraqi Kurdistan in November to export the semi-autonomous region's hydrocarbon resources to world markets via pipelines through Turkey.Iraqi officials have threatened Turkey with legal action if what they describe as "smuggled oil" is exported without Baghdad's approval.Turkey has repeatedly said it would respect Baghdad's sensitivities and help Irbil and Baghdad to find common ground before any exports can begin. Around 220,000 barrels of oil has been stored in tanks in Ceyhan so far, Yildiz said.Turkey has long maintained that Iranian gas prices are too high.Turkey depends on imports for almost all of its natural gas needs, which are estimated to reach 52 billion cubic meters this year.
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