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Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (Image courtesy of Kurdistan Regional Government )

The first oil from Iraqi Kurdistan has been sold to European markets, the autonomous region said in a statement on Friday.

The revenue will be deposited in Turkey’s Halkbank.

The Kurdistan Regional Government said sales from the Turkish port of Ceyhan would continue despite opposition from the federal government in Baghdad.

The Iraqi federal government has threatened legal action against any company involved in “smuggling” Iraqi oil.

“A tanker loaded with over one million barrels of crude oil departed last night from Ceyhan towards Europe. This is the first of many such sales of oil exported through the newly constructed pipeline in the Kurdistan region,” the Kurdistan Regional Government  said in a statement.

Oil revenue would be treated as part of the region’s share of the Iraqi national budget.

Baghdad has partially withheld the Kurdistan Region’s budget since the start of the year as punishment for exporting crude independently.