Iraqi Kurdistan oil exports fall to 5,000 bpd
Kirkuk, December 20, 2012
Oil shipments from autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan have fallen to around 5,000 barrels per day from around 30,000 bpd at the start of the week, Iraqi oil officials said on Thursday.
Two officials at the state-run North Oil Company did not give a reason for the decline, but the fall comes at a time of increased tension between the Kurdish region and the central government in Baghdad over payments to companies there.
A spokesman for the Kurdistan ministry of natural resources could not immediately be reached for comment.
Kurdistan has in the past halted oil shipments in protest over what it says are delays by Baghdad in paying oil companies working in the region. At their highest; oil shipments were at 200,000 bpd.
An initial payment was made by Baghdad in October for $650 million. But a subsequent payment is still outstanding.
The payment disagreement is part of a broader dispute between the Arab-led central government and ethnic Kurds in their northern enclave over political autonomy and control of the Opec country's huge oil wealth. – Reuters