Kirkuk threat­ens to halt oil ex­ports to Bagh­dad

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The Iraqi ministry of oil takes 50,000 bar­rels per day (bpd) of Kirkuk oil from the Khabaza oil­field but has failed to send to the province its por­tion of the bud­get. The Kirkuk ad­min­is­tra­tion has, there­fore, threat­ened to cut Bagh­dad’s share of its oil and will sell crude oil to some com­pa­nies to pay debts to these com­pa­nies.

“Daily 50k bpd of oil from Kirkuk is sent to Bagh­dad and the rest of the pro­duced oil is saved un­der­ground in the oil­fields,” said Ahmed Askari head of the oil and gas com­mit­tee in the Kirkuk pro­vin­cial coun­cil. “Bagh­dad owes us about $1.3 bil­lion from the petro dol­lar deal. There­fore the Kirkuk pro­vin­cial coun­cil de­cided to give some crude oil to those com­pa­nies who we owe money to.”

Ex­por­ta­tion of Kirkuk’s oil was tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended by Bagh­dad, though the province still pro­duces about 150 to 180,000 bpd.

Chief engi­neer at the North Oil Com­pany Farhad Hamza said, “The oil that has been pro­duced from the Kirkuk fields, we sep­a­rate the gas from the oil and then drop the oil back into the wells. This is not a good process but we have to do so be­cause Bagh­dad made a po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion and halted Kirkuk oil ex­ports.”

Bagh­dad has also halted build­ing a re­fin­ery in Kirkuk, stalling devel­op­ment of Kirkuk’s en­ergy sec­tor.

Bagh­dad owes Kirkuk a lot of money and this has af­fected the Kirkuk econ­omy and public ser­vices. About 430 ser­vice projects are sus­pended in Kirkuk and the re­gion has a pile of elec­tric­ity bills it has to pay.

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