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Iraq begins exporting oil from Kirkuk to Iran

Iraq and Iran have begun exchanging crude oil from Kirkuk [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 June, 2018

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It is the first time Baghdad has agreed to divert crude from the Kirkuk province since it retook the region from the Kurds last year.

Iraq and Iran have begun exchanging crude oil from Kirkuk in a deal that will expand Tehran's interests in its most important Arab ally.

The Iranian oil ministry's news agency SHANA said on Sunday that crude oil from the Kirkuk field in northern Iraq is being shipped by truck to Iran.

Iran will use the oil in its refineries and deliver the same amount of oil to Iraq's southern ports.

Between 30,000 and 60,000 barrels per day of Kirkuk crude will be delivered by the tanker trucks to Darreh Shahr in southwestern Iran, SHANA said.

It is the first time Baghdad has agreed to divert crude from the Kirkuk province since it retook the region from the Kurds last year.

Iraqi forces halted exports in October 2017 after taking control of the fields.

Iraq and Iran plan to build a pipeline to carry oil from Kirkuk to avoid using trucks in the future, Reuters reported.

Iran has positioned itself to take control of oil exports from the region's giant Kirkuk field since suppressing the Kurdish bid for independence.

The pact is likely to create unease in Saudi Arabia.

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