Payments continue for Kurdish oil exports

Regional government suggesting attacks on export infrastructure crimping budgets.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Feb. 19, 2016 at 6:33 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Though its government said it's struggling financially, Gulf Keystone Petroleum said it was still getting paid for oil exported from the Kurdish north of Iraq.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum, which has headquarters in London, said the Kurdistan Regional Government authorized payment of $15 million for oil exported from the Shaikan oil basin in the region in January.

"We are pleased to continue receiving regular monthly payments for Shaikan crude oil exports in 2016," CEO Jon Ferrier said in a statement.

MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas said earlier this year it relinquished its holdings in the Akri-Bijeel block in the Kurdish north of Iraq in agreement with its British partners at Gulf Keystone Petroleum and the KRG after an assessment of the block potential. Both companies remain key stakeholders in the regional Shaikan area.

Ferrier said operations last year ended with stable average daily production rates of above 36,000 barrels of oil per day.

Companies operating in the Kurdish north had balked over payments in the past. Security issues associated with the fight against the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State pose another risk factor for the region. The State Department last month issued a travel alert for southern Turkey because of violence in the region.

Exports of Kurdish oil to the Turkish sea port of Ceyhan were suspended this week following attacks on an oil pipeline in Turkey. The KRG called for greater protection of regional export infrastructure, noting revenue generated from oil sales helped pay the wages for military personnel combating regional terrorist groups.

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