The export of oil from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has been stopped from today because the federal government in Baghdad has not honoured its payment commitments, Kurdistan’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) said on Sunday.
“After consultation with the producing companies, the Ministry has reluctantly decided to halt exports until further notice. There have been no payments for 10 months, nor any indication from federal authorities that payments are forthcoming,” the MNR said.
It added, “We hope that this is a temporary measure and that those in the federal government responsible for non-payment will quickly realise that their failure to adhere to their agreements is not in the interests of the Iraqi people.” No payment has been received since May 2011.
“Once this unfortunate non-payment situation has been satisfactorily resolved we will do our utmost to increase exports above the target of 175,000 barrels per day included in the 2012 Iraq budget,” the Ministry said. “From now on, production will be diverted to the local market for processing and refining to generate an alternative source of cash flow for the producing companies.”