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Kurdistan Parliament Approves New KRG Cabinet

Kurdistan Parliament Approves New KRG Cabinet

The Kurdistan Parliament approved the new Kurdistan Regional Government cabinet on Thursday. Incoming Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (pictured) and his ministers were sworn in to begin their two-year term.

While many of the ministers remain in their previous positions, nine new ministers were sworn into the 7th cabinet.

Announcing the agenda of the new cabinet, Prime Minister Barzani said that Kurdistan needs a collective effort to maintain progress and promote national unity, in spite of individual political and ideological differences. “We must begin a national dialogue to build a consensus on how we can improve our society,” he said.

“We also must have a united front in our negotiations with Baghdad, and at present the mechanism does not exist to create this united view. We must move ahead quickly with the formation of a High Council for Negotiations to oversee these discussions. All parties – government and opposition – must participate in this Council so that we can develop a meaningful consensus among ourselves on how to approach these difficult issues,” he added.

The new Prime Minister went on to describe plans to increase government transparency and to implement a policy to help separate the functions of political parties from the operations of the government as a whole, as well as initiatives to deliver better services to the people of Kurdistan and make better provision for the disadvantaged and poor.

The new cabinet was approved in keeping with the legal timeframe set by President Masoud Barzani’s call to form the new cabinet, on March 7. The members of the 7th Cabinet sworn into posts are:

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Shahristani Accuses Kurdistan of Oil Smuggling

Shahristani Accuses Kurdistan of Oil Smuggling

The ongoing dispute between Iraq’s central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) reached new heights on Monday as Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, Hussain al-Shahristani (pictured), accused the northern region of smuggling rather than meeting its export obligations.

According to Reuters, Shahristani told reporters:

Most of the crude produced in the region is being smuggled through borders and mainly to Iran … We have discussed with Iran and Turkey about controlling joint borders to stop smuggling crude.

The KRG decided on Sunday to halt oil exports from the region, which had previously been running at around 100,000 bpd, accusing the central government in Baghdad of failing to make payments to companies working in Kurdistan.

Oil exports will not start again unless there is an agreement on the payment policy,” Kurdish Energy Minister Ashti Hawrami told Reuters on Monday.

(Sources: Reuters, Wall Street Journal)

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DNO Updates on Operations in Kurdistan

DNO Updates on Operations in Kurdistan

Following Sunday’s statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government stopping oil exports from the region, Norway’s DNO International has issued the following statement:

As of 1 April 2012, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has instructed DNO International ASA to halt delivery of that portion of crude oil produced from the Tawke oil field that was destined for the Iraqi national pipeline system for eventual export through Turkey.

All other Tawke crude oil and refined product deliveries and field operations remains unaffected. All exploration and development operations on wells Peshkabir-1, Tawke-14, Tawke-15 and Tawke-1A, continue as before and as per plan.

(Source: DNO)

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Oil Exports from the Kurdistan Region Halted

Oil Exports from the Kurdistan Region Halted

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.”

(Source: KRG)

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