The image shows employees working at the Bai Hassan oil field after it fell to the Iraqi government during the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi army's incursion into the city of Kirkuk on October 16. Photo: AFP/Ahmad al-Raye
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Oil exports from Kirkuk fields to Turkey’s Ceyhan port have been halted by Baghdad, claimed an official, adding that the reason behind the decision has remained unclear.
Ahmed Askari, head of oil and gas committee in Kirkuk Provincial Council told Rudaw that after the October 16 events, oil exports to Ceyhan reduced to 70,000 barrels a day, but “now even that sum has been stopped.”
“The halt is not a technical issue,” he claimed. “Because we have asked and it turned out there was no issue.”
The decision to halt the exports was made by Iraqi Oil Ministry, Askari added.
He explained that oil production continues in Baba Gurgur, Khabbaza and Jambour oilfields, only to meet the demand of the domestic refineries.
After the oil-rich city of Kirkuk fell to the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi army, oil exports from the city steadily decreased from 300,000 to 70,000 after the takeover of Bai Hassan and Havana by Baghdad.
The oilfields of Bai Hassan and Havana, two major oilfields in Kirkuk , run by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) since 2014 fell to the Iraqi armed forces during their incursion into the city of Kirkuk on October 16.