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Iraq has increased payments to foreign oil firms by raising the crude oil entitlements they receive under their technical services contracts.
BP and Lukoil both confirmed this week that the payments had picked up in recent weeks but the Russian oil major has warned of headwinds that might slow the pace of upstream growth in Iraq. In the downstream, Iraq faces a potential long-term loss in capacity as Islamic State (IS) resumed its attacks against the Baiji refinery, the country’s largest oil refining complex.
Michael Townshend, who heads BP Group’s Middle East Operations, said on the sidelines of the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference (MPGC) in Abu Dhabi on 21 April that payments from the federal government in Baghdad had improved in recent weeks in the shape of increased loadings from both the southern Basra terminal and the Turkish port of Ceyhan to cover payments for the Rumaila oil field development, Iraq’s largest producing field.
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