Even with a deal, the volume of oil to be exported from the Kurdish region is likely to be much lower than the 400,000 b/d that Baghdad has pencilled into its draft budget.

For now, exports of crude oil through the federally-controlled pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan remain a moot point, since the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline remains offline due to repeated sabotage and what Mr Laibi says is a technical problem on the Turkish side. Exports to the Mediterranean terminal stopped in early March and have yet to resume, largely due to difficulties repair teams have had in reaching the ruptured sections of pipeline just south of Mosul, where the latest attacks occurred. (CONTINUED - 727 WORDS)