PM Barzani: oil exports resume at $800m per month
By RŰDAW 3 hours ago 08 07 2015

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Kurdistan region of Iraq can export 600,000 barrels per day (bdp) worth $800 million each month, the Kurdistan region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said Thursday.

In a meeting with journalists, Barzai announced that due to the July 27 sabotage attack by the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which transports crude oil from the Kurdistan region to Turkey, oil exporting had been temporarily halted.

“The Kurdistan region can resume its oil exports from now,” Barzani said.

The region's Ministry of Oil and Natural Resources said the recent pipeline sabotage in Turkey had cost the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over $250 million, a sum nearly equal to the entire monthly budget for the salaries of the region's security forces.

The official website of the armed wing of the PKK in Turkey, the People’s Defense Force (HPG), in a statement claimed responsibility for the attack on the Kurdistan oil pipeline. In a subsequent statement, the group said that the attack on the pipeline was not an order from the PKK leadership.

Last month, the KRG announced it had continued to increase its direct oil sales in Ceyhan to compensate for the budget shortfalls from the federal government in Baghdad and to to pay off debts accumulated in 2014 from pre-payments for direct oil sales.

In December, Iraq's central government and the KRG reached an agreement to export crude oil in exchange of regular payments of the region’s 17 percent portion. Barzani and other KRG leaders have repeatedly said that Baghdad has reneged on its commitments and sent only half of the agreed-upon budget to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region.

In July, the KRG announced that due to a number of factors, the federal Iraqi government had been unable to provide the Kurdistan region with its monthly budgetary allocation.

“The KRG has been obliged to introduce direct crude oil sales from Ceyhan to help pay the Kurdistan region’s governmental salaries, maintain vital government services, and of course, pay the Peshmerga and other security forces who are fighting Islamic State terrorists,” the KRG said in a statement at the time.