*KRG has blamed technical problem for the sudden halt in oil export
*Since Monday, oil export by Kurdistan went down 2/3rd of the usual amount.
Baghdad/London, Ashti Hawrami, the Energy Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government has said in a statement that, on Tuesday the KRG has resumed the export of oil from an important oil filed after the export stopped on Monday night due to some minor technical problem.
The oil official of the central government has confirmed that this autonomous region from Monday night had stopped the flow of crude oil from the oil field of Khurmala, and this field produces about 75,000 to 80,000 bpd of oil.
The KRG had stopped the oil flow in April because the central government hasn’t paid the oil companies working in the region.
The crude oil export was commenced as a goodwill gesture according to Kurdistan, but there is still the threat that the flow will be stopped by 15th September if the payment procedure does not show any progress.
According to the statement made by Hawrami, there wasn’t any deliberate attempt by the KRG or the oil contractors working in the region to stop the flow of crude oil.
He has also added that, it is the sincere hope in the part of KRG that normal oil export will continue until 15th September without any disruption and the autonomous government hopes to continue oil export even after that date if there is some progress in the discussion with Baghdad regarding the payment dispute.
The dispute over foreign deal
A statement has revealed that some technical difficulties in the loading and shipping of crude oil created the disruption in the oil flow from the Taq Taq oilfield yesterday. The statement further added that the problems have been solved and the export procedure started from early morning today.
The oilfield of Taq Taq can produce 105,000 bpd of oil and 55,000 barrels of that oil is delivered to the oilfield of Khurmala to send for export to the central government supervised Iraq-Turkey pipeline.
An official from the government run North Oil Company has said that, they only have the information about the pumping procedure of crude oil being stopped from Khurmala, but the Kurdish authorities never informed them about the technical problem cropping up in the Taq Taq oilfield.
Last week Baghdad had released a statement saying that it was considering cutting the federal budget payments to the KRG and the cut will be more than $3 billion in amount. This cut is being implemented because of the loss the central government had to sustain because of the disruption in oil.
The central government has given a deadline to the Kurds for sending a delegation to Baghdad for discussing about the crisis which passed on Tuesday.
There is a problem brewing between the KRG and the central government because of the independent oil contracts the Kurds have signed with international oil firms like Exxon, Total, Chevron and Gazprom.
Baghdad maintains its claim that it has sole right of exporting crude oil from Iraq and it also is afraid of the fact that this step can be a part of the Kurdish claim for more freedom.