KRG Plans To Export Oil From 2 May In Doubt

Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, has declared that Erbil plans to start exporting oil independently through the Turkish port of Ceyhan on 2 May. But it is not clear whether the Turkish government, caught in the middle of a tug of war between Baghdad and Erbil, is fully on board.

Mr Barzani, speaking in an interview with Kurdish news service Rudaw, says Erbil needs to generate revenues because the federal government has cut off funding needed to pay salaries. Baghdad has remitted only 500mn of the 850mn dinars needed to pay salaries in January and February but none in March and April, he says. The Iraqi government is using oil as a trump card, he adds, rejecting allegations that selling oil without going through Baghdad’s state marketer SOMO is unconstitutional. There is, he points out, no reference to SOMO in the constitution. An energy protocol signed with Turkey last year allows the KRG to sell oil to Turkey and beyond, he adds. (CONTINUED - 1498 WORDS)