Kurdish exports through Baghdad last month earned $140m

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Region exported more than 4 million barrels of oil through the Iraqi government last month and received 166 billion Iraqi dinars ($139.5 million) in return, Iraq’s finance minister said Wednesday. Hoshyar Zebari made the comments in a meeting Wednesday with Aram Sheikh Muhammad, deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament, whose office released the minutes of the meeting. The autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraq’s central government in Baghdad have been at loggerheads over oil exports. The Kurds cite the constitution to advocate independent international oil exports, but the government in Baghdad insists all sales must go through the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO).
"Last month the Kurdistan Region exported 4.4 million barrels of oil through SOMO Marketing Company, Baghdad in return sent 166 billion Iraqi Dinars to Kurdistan region,” Zebari said in the meeting.

“An attempt was made not to send the Kurdistan region any money, therefore it is important for the Kurdistan region to continue exporting oil through SOMO,” added the minister, who is himself a Kurd.

Over the oil dispute, the Iraqi government had cut payments to the KRG from the national budget.
Zebari also told the deputy speaker that, “Today, Wednesday, the Kurdistan region sent 579,000 barrels of oil to SOMO, and this is a good step.”

“When there is a will to reach an agreement it becomes possible to amend the previous agreement or make a new one immediately,” said Muhammad, referring to oil deals between Erbil and Baghdad that have not stuck.