Iraqi Kurds report decline in oil exports

Sept. 12, 2011 at 8:13 AM
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ERBIL, Iraq, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Oil exports from the semiautonomous Kurdish region of Iraq ground to a halt after reported "technical difficulties," the regional government said.

The regional and federal governments in Iraq have been at odds over national oil laws. Iraq lawmakers recently sparred over a draft hydrocarbon law, though international oil companies haven't shied from investing in the energy-rich country.

The Kurdistan Regional Government, in a statement, said there was no basis to claims that oil production was halted because of policy disputes with the federal government.

"Recently there have been a number of technical difficulties resulting from the management of a pipeline and the pumping export system operated by the Kirkuk-based North Oil Co.," read a KRG statement.

The KRG added there were shortfalls in the past because fields operated by the North Oil Co. weren't producing "sufficient volumes."

The regional government noted that there were pressure issues at its export systems to Turkey. Operating pressure fell by more than half, the KRG said, adding this occurred without warning.

"This in turn resulted in the automatic shutdown of the main oil export from the region, which handles around 100,000 barrels of oil per day," the KRG said.

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