• Erbil exported record average of 562,633 barrels a day of crude to port of Ceyhan in April
  • Exports through Iraqi Kurdistan pipeline network include KRG and Kirkuk fields
  • Iraq’s average daily production is now as high as it has been since the 1980s

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) exported a record average of 562,633 barrels a day (b/d) of crude to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey in April, according to a new report from the KRG’s Natural Resources Ministry.

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.

In April, KRG-operated fields represented 74 per cent of total exports, at about 415,246 b/d, while the remainder, about 147,237 b/d, was pumped from NOC-operated fields.

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).

In December, Erbil agreed with Baghdad to export 550,000 b/d of crude on behalf of the central government’s State Organisation for Marketing of Oil (Somo), ending a long-standing dispute over the status of exports. In return, the KRG would be guaranteed its 17 per cent share of the Iraqi federal budget.

The KRG Natural Resources Ministry said it had agreed in January with Iraq’s oil minister to export 468,000 b/d to Somo in April.

“The KRG actually exceeded this target by an average of 66,210 b/d,” said the KRG ministry, having supplied Somo in Ceyhan with 534,210 b/d over the month.  

“The KRG remains on track to meet its oil export commitments under the 2015 federal budget, and is pleased that KRG export volumes, already at record levels, continue to increase,” the ministry added.

In March, Erbil reportedly received its first budget payment since Baghdad began withholding the KRG’s share of the budget in early 2014.

Somo revealed in early May that Iraqi oil exports had hit a long-term high in April as volumes leaving the country hit 3.08 million b/d.

Somo usually includes the Kirkuk fields in its export figures, but not the oil fields in the three provinces historically governed by the KRG.

Iraq’s average daily production is now as high as it has been since the 1980s.

Stay informed with the latest in the Middle East
Download the MEED app today, available on Apple and Android devices