Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will be counting down the days until the end of a troubled year in which only incremental gains from oil fields in disputed territory have kept the oil sector’s head above water.

Progress on a key pipeline indicates the potential for modest production gains in 2017. But huge problems remain, not least that debt payments for earlier oil prepayments are crimping revenues to such an extent that oil revenues remain below the public sector wage bill. Refining runs have been slashed in a bid to maximize export revenues in order to make payments to IOCs, with exports rising from 61% of production in Q1 2015 to 91% in the third quarter this year. (CONTINUED - 1627 WORDS)