New Oil Minister Luaibi Backs Deal With Kurds

By Simon Kent.

Iraq’s new oil Minister Jabbar Al Luaibi, who was appointed April 14th, has remarked that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad are planning a new oil exports and revenue sharing deal to replace the one which collapsed in early 2015.

According to Gulf News, Safeen Dizayee, a spokesman for the KRG also confirmed new talks were underway:

“We wish all the best for the new ministers and that they can take part in creating an environment to help resolve problems between the two parties.”

Under the last arrangement, confirmed in November 2014, the Kurdish Regional Government was allocated a portion of oil produced in the Kurdish region to market as its own, through its own Kurdish Organization for the Marketing of Oil (KOMO.)

The Kurds then had to submit around 300,000 bpd to Iraq’s federal State Organization for the Marketing of Oil (SOMO) in exchange for the restoration of their monthly budget from Baghdad. But the deal fell apart after disputes over how much oil was sent to SOMO, and Baghdad struggled to pay Kurdish funds as oil prices continued to collapse.

There has been a suggestion that this time, a new deal would be independently audited, but it is likely to face stiff opposition from both pro-independence Kurds and hardliners in Baghdad.

(Source: Gulf News.)

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