The Iraqi economy is losing as much as $1.2 billion a month because of the shutdown of the oil pipeline connecting the Iraqi city of Kirkuk with the Turkish city of Ceyhan, an Iraqi Oil Ministry representative said Friday.
"Due to the cease of oil pumping through the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline we are losing the income from the export of 300,000-400,000 barrels per day, as a result our export losses amount to an average of $1.2 billion per month," the ministry representative was quoted as saying by Iraqi news agency AIN.
According to the ministry, oil exports from the fields in Kirkuk stopped in April. Since the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003, the pipeline has been repeatedly shut down because of terrorist activities while local authorities stated that the pipeline was in need of repair.
The ministry representative also said that the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, which has captured oil fields in the northern and central parts of the country, is selling Iraqi oil extracted from the Nineveh and Salah Al-Din provinces.
At least seven Iraqi oil fields are kept under IS control with a total capacity of up to 80 million barrels of oil per day. Oil pumped in the occupied fields is smuggled across the border with Turkey through intermediaries to the black market.
According to various estimates, IS receives $1 million to $3 million from illegal transactions of Iraqi oil every day.
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