Kurdish contribution to Iraq oil exports delayed

02 April 2014

Semi-autonomous region was due to export 100,000 barrels a day through Iraqi system

Repair work at Iraq’s crude oil export pipeline to Turkey has delayed the contribution of shipments from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had committed to contributing 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) through Iraq’s pipeline system, starting from 1 April, but this will now be pushed back until repair works are completed.

Since the announcement on 20 March, the KRG has been working with senior officials at the Oil Ministry in Baghdad and its subsidiary, North Oil Company (NOC), in Kirkuk to start the oil export process.

The KRG has been advised by NOC that they are not ready to receive any oil from the Kurdish region, according to a 31 March statement from the KRG.

The contribution has been described as a good-will gesture from the KRG, as it continues negotiations with Baghdad over oil exports and the region’s share of the federal budget. Baghdad insists that only its State Oil Marketing Organisation (Somo) has the right to export and sell Iraq’s crude oil.

However, at only 100,000 b/d, the gesture represents only a quarter of the contribution the KRG is expected to export through Somo’s pipeline. Reuter’s news agency, citing sources in Baghdad, reported that no discussions over the contribution have been held.

According to the draft budget for 2014, the Iraqi government insists the KRG must export as much as 400,000 b/d of crude through Somo to receive its 17 per cent share of the budget.

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