Just days after agreeing to re-start oil exports from the Kurdistan region, Ashti Hawrami (pictured), the KRG's Minister of Natural Resources, said the region would halt oil exports at the end of the month if Baghdad does not make all outstanding payments to companies working in the oil sector in the region by that time.
Erbil halted exporting oil in April due to disagreements over central government payments, and it maintains that Baghdad owes $1.5bn to companies making investments in the region.
“What I have in mind is to restart the oil export for only one month, ie, for all of the August period. If the payments are not released by the end of this period, then we agree to halt all the exports at midnight on August 31, 2012.”
According to AKnews, Tony Hayward, CEO of Genel Energy, sent a letter to Hawrami stating that his company had not been paid for the majority of oil exported in 2009 and 2011, and say that this has had a very significant impact on their operations.
Abbas al-Bayati, MP for the State of Law Coalition, told AIN:
"The Federal Government does not mind paying the dues of the foreign companies working in the oil fields in Kurdistan Region [but] it is necessary that the Federal Government receives in return of these payments the value of (175,000) oil barrel daily.''
(Sources: AKnews, AIN)