By John Lee.
Oil exports from the Kurdistan Region will resume in the first week of August, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has announced, adding that the decision was a confidence-building measure aimed at solving once and for all the ongoing oil and gas issues in Iraq.
The MNR said that despite initial reluctance from the producing international oil companies (IOCs) in the Region to export without guarantees of payment, the IOCs had been persuaded to restart exporting at 100,000 barrels per day.
A spokesman for the MNR said, “This is a goodwill initiative and we sincerely hope that the federal authorities in Iraq respond positively, making all the outstanding payments due to the IOCs and implementing all the measures agreed upon between the KRG and the federal government.”
The spokesman said exports would remain at 100,000 bpd for a month and if payments were forthcoming, they could move swiftly up to 200,000 bpd.
The Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Natural Resources, Dr Ashti Hawrami, said, “After approaches made by friends of Iraq in political and diplomatic circles, the KRG has decided to resume exports from the Region to build confidence with the federal government with the purpose of squaring up all the oil and gas issues in Iraq.”
Dr Hawrami said these issues included: settling outstanding export payments and committing to regular payments for future exports; restoring the supply of refined products to the Kurdistan Region; payment of the KRG petrodollar (a sum allocated federally to the producing governorates per barrel of oil produced by them); and the settlement of outstanding fuel import costs for power generation in the Region.