Echtay hawrami reveals details of sales Kurdistan oil

(Voice of Iraq)
Erbil natural resources Minister in the Kurdistan Regional Government, echtay hawrami, in an interview with the Reuters news agency, details of oil exports by region and revenues, noting that States buy oil in Kurdistan region in 10 States.

Hawrami said, "we simply cannot afford a return to the old arrangements with Baghdad and the financial gap again", having evolved differences on budget over the last two years, Baghdad has refused to respect the territory's share of the budget in 2014 and 2015.

Hawrami said "Kurdistan has been the highlight for a long time. By early 2014, when we have received, we have decided that we need to start thinking about independent oil ".

And major oil companies, which have billions of dollars into joint projects with Iraq, including ExxonMobil, and BP BP, were afraid to invest in Kurdistan, Baghdad's threat to sue any purchaser of oil in Kurdistan.

Hawrami said that "buyers wanted the Government of Kurdistan to hire ships its own crude oil ", because of the lack of experience of Kurdistan in transport or shipping, he was hired by veteran oil trader, Morteza Lakhani, who was working for the company Glencore in Iraq in 2000.

And between hawrami Lakhani "knows exactly who wish to purchase oil from Kurdistan, who won't deal with us. And open our doors, Lakhani and select shipping companies that are willing to work with us ".

And about the beginnings of oil exports from Kurdistan, hawrami said that "Iraqi State budget for 2014 required the Kurdistan to export 400 thousand barrels of oil a day, which wasn't able to do technically at that time, due to the absence of export routes and pipelines".

He went on to say "Kurdistan received 500 million dollars within the State budget allocations in January 2014 instead of territory amounting to 1.2 billion dollars, and reducing the share of the territory's budget in the month of February, and then deducted fully in March 2014".

He said that Baghdad had asked oil "which we didn't have. So went the delegation headed by Prime Minister nechirvan Barzani in Baghdad trying to figure out what's going on, but they weren't interested in listening to us and they continue in their decision to cut our budget ".

He said "so we had to expedite completion of pipelines. By may 2014 finished infrastructure, we were ready to start independent sales ".

After the arrival of the new Iraqi Government headed by Haidar Abadi at the end of last year, loomed the hopes of improved relations between Arbil and Baghdad, hawrami said "it was a new environment, and we hope that this allows you to put our differences behind us".

Indeed, Erbil and Baghdad signed in December 2014, an agreement whereby the Kurdistan Regional Government to export 550 barrels of Iraqi oil marketing company SOMO, that gets the territory its share of 17% of the budget, amounting to $ 1 billion per month.

But hawrami said that Baghdad failed to abide by the Convention and sent 200 million dollars in January instead of a billion agreed, he says "in February 2015, we went back to Baghdad to discover it was included in the budget of the Convention, said that salaries constitute approximately 750 million-half llasaish and Peshmerga-how can we live on just a third of our budget?".

And increased that officials in Baghdad "have told us that cash is all what we have because of the collapse of oil prices and the inability to fill the budget deficit, by the month of March we reached the conclusion that we had no choice but to begin oil sales independently again".

Hawrami drew that from November 2015, the number of countries that buy oil from Kurdistan to the 10 States, adding "If you ask any Eva say that their dream of independence is the main", adding: "but at the Government level, the main focus was on the policy of economic independence."