Industry source revealed that the oil exports from Iraq’s Kurdistan area were down ‘significantly’.
The reason behind this decline was not transparent, but the independent region is locked in a long-running row along with the over payment by the government to the oil firms operating in Kurdistan.
One of the three industry sources asked to keep its name secret while announcing the fact that the exports have been slashed down and the reason is not clear.
Kurdistan halted delivery of its oil in April, to protest against what it said were late payments from the central government to the companies in the Kurdish area.
Baghdad made a preliminary payment of $650 million to the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) in October, but a following payment is now overdue and Iraq’s deputy prime minister for energy, Hussein al-Shahristani lately said it would not be mad.
The oil payment argument is part of a wider feud between Kurdistan and Baghdad over control of oil and contested territories that has pulled in major firms such as Exxon illegal and has blacklisted some that have ventured into the northern Kurdish area.
Kurdistan says its right to allow deals to foreign firms is enshrined in the Iraqi constitution, which was drawn up following 2003 attack that ousted Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein.
The Kurds have since passed their own gas and oil law while disputes amongst Iraq’s Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish factions in the national power-sharing regime have delayed a long-awaited hydrocarbons law aimed at ending arguments over crude resources.