• Regional government paid $455m for April
  • Erbil expects $1bn a month for hitting target
  • KRG prime minister calls budget meeting

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has not received its expected share of the federal Iraqi oil budget despite meeting its targets for oil exports for April.

Erbil received a payment of ID543bn ($445m) from the Baghdad government for April, according to Iraq Oil Report, citing the Kurdish Ministry of Finance.

The payment is part of an agreement signed between the two governments in December for the KRG to export oil on behalf of Baghdad in exchange for its share of the federal budget.

The KRG’s oil exports to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey hit a record monthly high of 562,633 barrels a day (b/d) in April, exceeding the 550,000 b/d agreed under the export deal.

The Kurdish Ministry of Finance plans to use the funds to pay overdue March salaries to government employees.

The $445m payment may come as a disappointment to the KRG, which is expecting to receive about $1bn a month for hitting its export target.

It is estimated that the Kurdish budget requires between $900m to $1bn just to cover public expenditure, including the payment of government salaries.

Exports through the Iraqi Kurdistan pipeline network include oil produced from fields operated by the KRG and fields operated by the Baghdad central government’s North Oil Company (NOC) in the Kirkuk province.

KRG forces took control of Kirkuk city and the nearby oil fields in July 2014, when Iraqi security forces fled the area, which was under threat from the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis).

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani is attending a meeting with parliamentary leaders on 14 May to discuss the budget and Kurdish oil sakes.

“In our [oil] deal with Baghdad we couldn’t send what we were supposed to in January, February and March. But, in April, we reached the amount and we are sending more oil than in previous months,’’ Barzani was quoted as saying by Erbil-based news service Rudaw.

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