18:45 GMT +325 September 2018
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    Iraqi workers are seen at the Rumaila oil refinery, near the city of Basra, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq

    New Iraqi Oil Minister Says Sees No Obstacle to Settling Oil Issue With Kurds

    © AP Photo / Nabil al-Jourani
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    There are no obstacles to solving the oil issues with the Iraqi Kurdistan autonomous region, Iraq's new oil minister, Jabar Ali Luaibi, said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Luaibi's appointment to the role of oil minister was approved by the country's parliament. He previously served as the head of the state-run South Oil Company.

    "There are some issues that need to be settled. [As for the oil], there are no difficulties and nothing is impossible," Luaibi told the Al Sumaria broadcaster after taking office.

    The Iraqi authorities aim to attract investments to its gas industry, he added.

    On December 2, 2014, the governments of Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq agreed on the daily export of 250,000 barrels of oil from the Kurdistan Region and 300,000 from Kirkuk, also in northern Iraq. The deal will also see 17 percent of Iraq's national budget transferred to the autonomous region annually. However, the sides stopped complying with the deal, accusing each other of breaching it.

    Presently, Iraq and the autonomous region of Kurdistan sell their oil independently and do not make transfer payments to each other. The situation is aggravated by the fact that Kurdish Peshmerga militia control most parts of Kirkuk province, which is the region richest in oil in all of Iraq, although it is not part of the autonomous region of Kurdistan.


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