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Iraqi Kurds announce start of crude flow to Turkey

Iraqi Kurds say they've started exporting oil through Turkey without Baghdad approval

Iraqi Kurds announce start of crude flow to Turkey

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The authorities in Iraq's self-ruled northern Kurdish region say they've unilaterally started exporting crude oil through Turkey despite objections by the central government in Baghdad.

The Kurds' regional Natural Resources Ministry said in a statement late Wednesday that pumping started in early January.

The oil is being shipped north through a newly constructed pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, bypassing Baghdad.

The Kurdish ministry has invited companies to participate in a January tender for the 2 million barrels already deposited in Ceyhan. It anticipates an increase in exports to 4 million barrels in February and 6 million barrels in March, with the goal of 10-12 million barrels in December.

Kurds and Arab-led government in Baghdad have been in a long-running dispute over who is in charge of oil exports.