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Kurdish oil exports resume; uncertainty remains

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World Pipelines,

Oil exports have resumed from Iraq’s Kurdish region after halting on Monday, highlighting uncertainty about pipeline shipments from OPEC’s second-biggest producer.

Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurds began pumping oil again to Ceyhan, Turkey, yesterday afternoon after Kurdish crude stopped arriving at the Mediterranean port in the early hours of Monday morning. 

The temporary halt came days after Iraqi troops captured oilfields from Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq’s disputed Kirkuk province.

The central government rejected a Kurdish independence referendum in September and sent troops earlier this month to capture oil-rich Kirkuk from Kurdish forces. The government had started pumping crude last week from the Avana field in Kirkuk through a pipeline operated by the Kurdistan Regional Government. It was the first sign of a recovery in output from Kirkuk, a long-standing flashpoint between Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen communities.

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