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Iraqi Oil Minister spoke angrily about Kurdish oil sales at OPEC headquarters in Vienna

Controversial Kurdish oil sold to Austrian buyers

Kurdish oil has allegedly been sold to Austrian buyers, according to reports in Kurdish media.

The sale of the oil comes after years of dispute between Iraq and the autonomous region of Kurdistan in the north of the country over the rights to sell the oil. This dispute has become heightened in recent months as the Kurdish used the current crisis in the country as an opportunity to strengthen their hold over the oil.

This has caused bitter feuds between the central Iraqi government and the regional Kurdish government, including a furious reaction from Baghdad after two shipment of Kurdish oil set off from the Turkish port of Ceyhan in May and June this year.

In response, the Iraqi government filed an international lawsuit against Turkey and in a meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna the Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said there would be "severe measures".

Kurdish officials say that with the sailing of the shipment it is just exercising control over its sales, although reports from Monday last week indicated they had not found a buyer.

Now official Kurdish sources have told Kurdish media that buyers have been found in Austria and India.

If true, the sale is also likely to anger the United States who have reportedly been working behind the scenes to try and keep the oil sales under the control of the weakened Baghdad government.

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