Baghdad ‘cannot afford’ Kurdistan oil dues

16 February 2015, News Wires – Talks to finalise agreement between Iraqi and Erbil administration fail to fine resolution as money runs tight

IraqAuthorities in Iraq and the country’s northern Kurdistan region have failed to reach a permanent deal over oil payments and exports following a one-day meeting in Baghdad.

The delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said it “became apparent” during two meetings on Monday, that “the Iraqi government is unable to pay” for the Kurdistan region’s share of oil for January and February.

This is due to “the financial crisis in Iraq and the lack of liquidity” in the country, the KRG said in a statement on its website.

“The two sides agreed to continue holding further talks in order to find an appropriate solution to the situation,” it continued.

Baghdad and the KRG in early December took a major step towards ending a long-festering oil dispute by agreeing to crude exports from the autonomous region in return for a share of the federal budget.

It committed the KRG to exporting 300,000 barrels per day of oil from the giant Kirkuk field via a pipeline running through Kurdish territory to Turkey. A further 250,000 bpd will come from oilfields in the autonomous region.

The Erbil administration continued on Monday: “Regarding the implementation of the December agreement, the KRG delegation presented a timetable for the export of oil from the Kurdistan Region, which was accepted by the Federal Government of Iraq.”

It failed, however, to provide any details on the timetable that was presented.

“Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement, while working to settle the immediate problem facing the agreement due to the financial crisis that affects whole of Iraq,” the KRG said.



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