IRBIL, Iraq (AP) – The manager of an oil field in Iraq’s Kurdish north has hailed Monday’s planned start of exports from there as a historic moment.

Oil from the Taq Taq field will be exported by pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. It will be the first time the Kurdish self-ruled region has exported oil.

The Kurds and the central government are in dispute over management of oil fields. But a deal was worked out to allow the Kurds to ship oil through the government’s northern pipeline.

Okutan Mehmet, the Turkish project manager of the Taq Taq oil field, said Saturday exports will begin at about 40,000 barrels a day and increase to 60,000 barrels a day by October.

“We consider the start of the exports as a historic moment for us,” Mehmet said.

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