KRG hands over 50-60K barrels of oil to Baghdad since mid-June, says official
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region has handed over about 50,000-60,000 barrels of oil on a daily basis to Baghdad since mid-June, as part of efforts to fulfill its obligations under the new budget law with the federal Iraqi government, a top Kurdish official said on Sunday.
A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) delegation has recently visited Baghdad to continue talks on budget implementation and paying the salaries of the Region’s public employees. Another delegation is set to visit the Iraqi capital again for that purpose.
The government has fulfilled its obligation under the budget deal with Baghdad, including handing over the oil, whose export has been halted since March 25 after Baghdad claimed victory over Turkey at an arbitration court in Paris, KRG President of Diwan Omed Sabah, told Kurdistan 24 in an interview on Sunday.
“We have handed over 50,000-60,000 barrels of oil since mid-June” to the federal government, Sabah said, adding the handover had been officially set in the latest meeting with the Ministry of Oil.
Per the budget deal, the Iraqi oil marketing company, known as SOMO, would be in charge of selling the Kurdish oil following years of independent exports by the KRG.
Prior to the stoppage, the Kurdistan Region was exporting over 400,000 barrels of oil per day through a pipeline to Turkey’s Ceyhan port.
Iraq passed its three-year budget bill in June, considered to be one of the country’s budgets.
The state expenditures are set at 198.91 trillion Iraqi dinars ($153 billion) with a deficit of more than 64 trillion dinars (over $48 billion).
The Kurdistan Region’s share in the federal budget is set at 12.67 percent, amounting to more than $12 billion annually.
The management of oil and gas has been among the thorny issues between Erbil and Baghdad for over a decade, leading to the suspension of the Region’s share in previous federal budgets.