Turkish, Iraqi officials discuss resuming Kirkuk oil exports

Flames emerge from flare stacks at the oil fields in Kirkuk, Iraq on October 18, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 16 November 2017
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Turkish, Iraqi officials discuss resuming Kirkuk oil exports

BAGHDAD: A Turkish energy delegation has met with Iraqi top oil officials in Baghdad to discuss issues including the resumption of Kirkuk oil exports via the Turkish port of Ceyhan, Iraq’s oil ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Exports from oilfields in Kirkuk have been on hold since Iraqi government forces took control of them from the Kurds last month in retaliation for a Kurdish referendum on independence which was widely opposed by Turkey, Iran and Western powers.
“A high level Turkish energy delegation met with senior oil officials, including officials from state-run SOMO, to discuss ways to restart Kirkuk oil exports,” the statement said.
Baghdad’s meeting was attended by senior officials from the Turkish energy ministry, state-owned energy company TPAO and Turkish pipeline operator Botas, according to the oil ministry.
“The two parties discussed financial and technical issues which delay Kirkuk oil exports resumption. The talks are to be completed in Ankara,” the statement said.
Iraqi oil officials accuse Kurdish authorities of not responding to requests made by the oil ministry to use the Kurdish pipeline to resume exports from Kirkuk.
Iraq needs at least three months to repair an old pipeline which was shipping Kirkuk crude to Ceyhan port in Turkey, SOMO has said. The main 600,000 bpd Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline had been offline since March 2014 following insurgent attacks.


Founder of India’s beleaguered Jet Airways quits

Updated 14 min 25 sec ago
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Founder of India’s beleaguered Jet Airways quits

  • Naresh Goyal leaves carrier as part of a rescue plan agreed with its lenders
  • Jet Airways has debts of more than $1 billion

NEW DELHI: Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal will step down from the board and reduce his stake in the cash-strapped Indian carrier, the company said on Monday as it closes in on a rescue deal led by state-run banks.

The banks, led by State Bank of India (SBI), will convert their debt into equity and take a controlling stake in the airline for a token sum of 1 rupee ($0.0145), Jet said in a statement to the stock exchanges after its board met earlier on Monday.

The banks will also give the airline a fresh loan of $217.71 million (15 billion rupees) to meet payments and restore normal operations and the lenders will form an interim management committee to manage the airline, Jet said.

Saddled with debt of more than $1 billion, Jet owes money to banks, suppliers, pilots and lessors — several of whom have started terminating leases with the carrier.

The government has asked state-run banks, led by SBI, to rescue Jet without pushing it into bankruptcy, two people within the Indian government have told Reuters, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to avert thousands of job losses weeks before a general election.

In its statement, Jet said the banks will initiate a bidding process to sell their stake in the airline to a new investor and that the process is expected to be complete by end-June.

Reports of Goyal’s departure led to a rally in Jet’s shares, which ended the day 12.4 percent higher.