The North Oil Company of Iraq is working with Kurdish group Karr (owned by Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechervan Barzani) to resume pumping in two disputed oil fields, where production has been halted after government forces regained control of Kurdish forces.
“This issue has not been public since the central government forces in Baghdad searched Kirkuk last week and the fields pumped an estimated 275,000 bpd before the Iraqi attack,” the source said.
The North Oil Company (NOC) was not immediately available to the central government in Baghdad. The Kar Group is located in Erbil in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Carr operates the crude pipeline that exports crude oil from the region Kurdish to Turkey.
Kirkuk, home to the oldest oilfield in Iraq, is a point of power dispute between the central government and the Kurds. The government has sent troops this month to restore disputed areas, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, seized by Kurdish fighters in 2014 after occupation. The latest military operation followed a Kurdish referendum on independence from Iraq on September 25.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) included Kirkuk in the referendum despite competing claims for the ethnically mixed region that lies outside the Kurdish region controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
On Wednesday, the Kurdistan Regional Government issued a statement saying it was ready to freeze the results of the referendum on independence, monitor an immediate cease-fire and hold talks with the central government.
The flow of oil from northern Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan fell to 252,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Wednesday from about 300,000 bpd the previous day, well below the normal daily level of 600,000 bpd.
The Iraqi central government exports its exports from Kirkuk via Kurdish trucks belonging to the Kar company through the pipeline to Turkey.
Iraq, OPEC’s second largest producer, pumps more than 4.47 million bpd of fields in the south through its ships in the port of Basra to the Gulf, but with Iraq providing about 14 percent of the total output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, The recovery of exports cut from the north could affect crude oil markets.
Brent crude was down 18 cents at $ 58.15 a barrel on Wednesday at 4:28 pm in London.