The Kurdistan region’s ministry of natural resources said that oil exports from northern Iraq rose in September to an average of 600,463 barrels per day.
That represents an increase of around 127,000 bpd from August, when exports were hit by repeated sabotage of the pipeline carrying crude to Turkey’s Ceyhan port from the autonomous Kurdistan region and Kirkuk fields.
Exports via the pipeline to Turkey have steadily increased this year but since June the Kurds have cut allocations to Iraq’s state oil marketing firm Somo to increase their own independent crude sales.
That has effectively nullified a deal reached late last year whereby the Kurds agreed to transfer an average of 550,000 bpd to Somo in 2015, in exchange for the full reinstatement of budget payments from Baghdad.
Kurdistan transferred just 22,000 bpd to Somo in September, the Iraqi oil ministry said last week, compared with 50,935 bpd in August.
The ministry said that “In September, the KRG continued to increase its direct oil sales in Ceyhan to compensate the region for the budget shortfalls from the federal government in Baghdad.”
The oil pumped through the pipeline comes mainly from fields within the Kurdistan region, which accounted for 448,340 bpd in September. The rest came from the disputed Kirkuk fields operated by Iraq’s state-run North Oil Company but under Kurdish control.
The federal oil ministry said in a statement last week that the bulk of Iraq’s oil exports are produced and shipped from the southern provinces, which amounted to 3.03 million barrel per day in September.
Source : REUTERS
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