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ENERGY > Arbil to use Iraqi pipeline till Sept 15

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The Kurdistan Regional Government plans to use federal pipelines to export oil untill Sept 15.

The Kurdistan Regional Government plans to use federal pipelines to export oil untill Sept 15.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq will export oil via federal pipelines until Sept. 15, Agence France-Presse quoted an official as saying, extending a one-month confidence-building measure amid a row with the central government in Baghdad.

The KRG had halted exports for several months on April 1 over $1.5 billion it said was owed to foreign oil companies working in the region that Baghdad had allegedly withheld.

“Kurdistan will continue exporting oil until Sept. 15,” an official in the Kurdish Natural Resources Ministry said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Oil exports were originally resumed on Aug. 7, after a four-month suspension.

The Arbil administration was scheduled to cut oil transfers to Baghdad as of Sept. 1, but an Iraqi official announced last week that the KRG was close to agreeing on a hydrocarbon law that would regulate the oil trade.

The central government and Arbil are at odds over issues including the KRG’s refusal to seek approval from Baghdad for oil contracts it has awarded to foreign firms, and over a swathe of disputed territory in northern Iraq.

Baghdad says all oil deals must go through the federal Oil Ministry, and it regards any that do not as illegal.

Turkey, a gateway for Iraqi oil exports, is fragile to fuel crises in its neighbor Iraq in terms of energy security.

Iraq’s oil exports, meanwhile, reached their highest level in more than three decades last month as the country’s output has continued to increase, Oil Ministry officials said on Sept. 1.

Overall exports averaged 2.57 million barrels per day (bpd), bringing in $8.44 billion in revenues on the back of average oil prices of $106 per barrel, Falah al-Amiri, head of the State Oil Marketing Organization, said.

Exports averaged 2.52 million bpd in July.

 “The level of exports was the highest in more than 30 years,” said ministry spokesman Assem Jihad.
Amiri said oil production currently averaged around 3.2 million bpd. Iraq has proven reserves of 143.1 billion barrels of oil and 3.2 trillion cubic meters of gas, both of which are among the largest in the world.

September/03/2012

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