Iraq Kurds say exports rise after technical glitch halt
* KRG says no deliberate halt, blames technical woes
* Two-thirds of Kurdish exports were cut since Monday
(Reuters) - Iraq's Kurdistan resumed pumping crude from an important oilfield on Tuesday after "minor technical difficulties" halted operations on Monday night, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Energy Minister Ashti Hawrami said in a statement.
Oil officials from the central government in Baghdad had said the autonomous region had stopped crude flow from the Khurmala oilfield - which generates 75,000 to 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) - since Monday night.
The KRG halted exports in April in a row over payments from Baghdad to companies working in the region.
It restarted them in what it said was a goodwill gesture, but warned it would stop them again by September 15 if there was no progress on payments.
Hawrami said no decision had been taken to deliberately halt oil exports by either the KRG or oil contractors in the region.
He said he expected oil exports to continue normally until at least Sept. 15 and "sincerely" hoped exports would continue beyond that date if progress was made in discussions with Baghdad over a payment dispute.
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"Minor technical difficulties in the loading and trucking of crude resulted in the temporary cessation of oil flow from the Taq Taq oilfield yesterday," the statement said. "The problems are rectified and exports resumed early this morning."
Taq Taq oilfield pumps 105,000 barrels per day of crude -with 55,000 bpd delivered by tanker truck to Khurmala for export into the central government's Iraq-Turkey pipeline.
"What we know is that crude pumping has been halted from Khurmala and Kurdish authorities have not informed us that they had technical issues with Taq Taq oilfield," a senior official at the state-run North Oil Company told Reuters.
Last week, Baghdad said it was considering cutting federal budget payments to Kurdistan by more than $3 billion to cover losses it says came from the stoppage.[ID: nL6E8K4B1Q]
A deadline it gave the Kurds to send a delegation to Baghdad to discuss the crisis is set to pass on Tuesday.
Kurdistan has also fallen out with Baghdad in recent months by drawing up independent oil accords with foreign firms including Exxon, Chevron, Total and Gazprom.