Obstacles remain after Turkey signals pipeline is ready

Northern exports can only come online if Baghdad strikes new political and commercial agreements.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani (standing, center right) and KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (standing, center left) oversee a ceremony in Baghdad on April 4, 2023, to sign a temporary deal for restarting northern oil exports. (Photo credit: Prime Minister's Office)

Turkey is now ready to restart Iraq's northern oil exports, ushering in a new phase of uncertainty that highlights several other political and commercial obstacles still blocking 475,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from global markets.

In remarks to a conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Turkish Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar said that "as of today, the pipeline is ready to operate" and predicated that exports could restart "within this week."

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