Vitol ‘apologises for Kurdistan Region of Iraq oil purchase’

Image source: Vitol.Dutch energy company, Vitol, has reportedly apologised to the Iraqi government for buying oil from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq without Baghdad's permission

According to Reuters, the oil was exported from the region via Turkey, going against the Iraqi central government which insists that it has the sole right to export oil, before reimbursing any payments to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The KRG insist that exports such as those made by Vitol, LUKOIL and Trafigura are legitimate while the Iraqi central government says that such exports are, in effect, smuggling.

Iraqi oil minister, Abdul-Kareem Luaibi, revealed at a recent OPEC meeting in Vienna that Vitol had apologised.

"In terms of Vitol, they have cancelled the Kurdish amount and they apologised officially," he said. "As for LUKOIL, there will be a meeting about this concern."

Luaibi did not mention Trafigura but went on to say, "We have received messages from the adjacent neighbour countries concerning the smuggling of Iraqi crude oil.

"Iraq will work against any company that buys these smuggled shipments."

The three companies have reportedly purchased condensate, a light crude oil, which has been sourced from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq then sold on the worldwide market via an intermediary.

Kurdistan signed independent exploration deals with foreign oil companies last year and began selling oil independently of the Iraqi central government in October.

There have also been disputes between the KRG and Baghdad due to overdue payments from the central government.

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