KRG to Start Up Crude Oil Exports from Tawke in June

On behalf of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources announces that crude oil exports shall commence officially on 1 June 2009 from the Tawke Field, at an initial rate of around 60,000 barrels per day. This follows the completion of all the metering instrumentation and the tie-in of the field pipeline with the Iraq-Turkey main export pipeline at the border town of Fishkhabur.

In addition, during the coming month of June, some 40,000 barrels per day of light crude oil shall commence (by trucking) from the Taq-Taq field to the newly installed temporary loading and unloading facilities at the Khurmala Station located East of Erbil, and from there onwards it will be transported through the existing pipeline networks to the Iraq-Turkey export pipeline. This will be a temporary measure and will continue until a field pipeline is laid between the Taq-Taq field and the Khurmala Station.

The exported crude oil from both fields will be marketed by SOMO and the revenue will be deposited to the federal Iraq account for the benefit of all Iraqi people. The average API gravity of the crude oil mix at a combined rate of 100,000 barrels per day will be around 35 degrees. Once the Taq-Taq pipeline is laid and further upgrades are made to the Tawke pipeline, the combined exports from these two fields will reach 250,000 barrels per day, with the average API gravity of around 39 degrees. These higher API gravity oil mixes will improve on the overall quality of the present Kirkuk oil mix which is only around 31 degrees API.

To mark this occasion the Ministry of Natural Resources shall hold an opening ceremony at Fishkhabur. A number of dignitaries will be invited from the Kurdistan Parliament, the KRG, the Kurdistan oil sector, SOMO officials, the head and members of the Federal Parliament Energy Committee, the Federal Finance and Oil Ministers, the Governor of Duhok and other officials. Local and international media will also be invited.

This great historic achievement, which was accomplished in record time, is one of the KRG's contributions to raising oil production and revenue for the benefit of all Iraq. We wish to acknowledge and thank officials of the North Oil Company in Kirkuk for their technical support during the last year to facilitate the tie-in with the export pipeline. They, and other high level federal Ministry of Oil officials who have supported us in the process, will be invited to attend the ceremony to celebrate this important occasion with us.