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DNO, Genel paid for Kurdish oil exports

Payment comes as Kurdish north of Iraq considers statehood.

By Daniel J. Graeber
DNO, Genel paid for Kurdish oil exports
DNO International shares payment with Genel Energy for crude oil exported from the Kurdish north of Iraq. Photo courtesy of DNO International.

OSLO, Norway, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Two partners working in the Kurdish north of Iraq, DNO International and Genel Energy, said they received their regular payments for crude oil exports.

"The payment, to be shared pro-rata by DNO and partner Genel Energy plc, includes $17.99 million toward the monthly entitlement for January exports and $3.46 million toward the recovery of outstanding entitlements for past deliveries," the companies said in a joint statement.

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The two companies combined for an average 119,390 barrels of crude oil exported from the Tawke field in the Kurdish region of Iraq in January.

The companies offered no specifics on what was owed in terms of outstanding arrears, though the lack of payments from the Kurdish government last year put pressure on oil field operations. Last week, British company Genel Energy said it received a gross payment of $16.3 million from the Kurdish government for oil exported through a pipeline through Turkey. Genel provided no information on export volumes.

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On Thursday, the Kurdish government, while offering few specifics, said it was coping with a regional financial crisis.

Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, meanwhile, said "the time has come" to consider full statehood for the Kurdish north.

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The Kurdish government in Erbil has been odds with Baghdad over its share of oil revenue. The semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government started independent oil sales in June, averaging earnings of around $682 million per month.

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Security issues associated with the fight against the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State pose risk factor for the region. The State Department issued a travel alert for southern Turkey last week because of violence in the region.

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