Iraqi Kurdistan Seeks Financial Assistance As Oil Revenues Plunge

The Prime Minister of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Nechirvan Barzani, held talks with representatives from the G7 countries, the EU and the World Bank in Erbil on 7 March, during which he requested financial assistance. Low oil prices are hitting the KRG hard with public sector salaries slashed last month (MEES, 5 February). But the ongoing outage of the region’s crude oil export pipeline to Turkey has further exacerbated the situation and oil revenues more than halved in February, while the use of pre-payments by buyers means more pain is likely on the way.

SO MUCH FOR TRANSPARENCY

Following intense criticism from both domestic opponents and Baghdad, the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) revamped its monthly export report last month to boost transparency. The new format included data on cargoes lifted by buyers – albeit without naming companies – and which vessels they chartered. However, February’s report published on 6 March does not list which buyer used which vessel.


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