Kurdish oil export payments continue after referendum

The Iraqi government this week called for the reconstruction of a pipeline to send oil north to Turkey, mirroring a line already working in the Kurdish north.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Oct. 12, 2017 at 5:52 AM
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Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Gulf Keystone became the second company in as many days to announce payments for oil exported from the Kurdish north of Iraq after its referendum.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum said Thursday it received a gross payment of $15 million from the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government for oil exported from the region's Shaikan oil field. The payment was for oil exported in June, but comes less than a month after the Kurdish region held a contentious referendum for independence from the rest of Iraq.

Norwegian oil and gas company DNO announced Wednesday it received $39.5 million from the KRG for oil exported from its Tawke field in July. It shared that payment with its operating partner, Genel Energy.

Payments for exports for both companies were more or less on par with previous months.

Companies working in the Kurdish region export oil through a pipeline running north to the Turkish seaport of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea. Export capacity from the Kurdish pipeline is around 300,000 barrels per day.

After the referendum, Turkey said it was considering choking off the flow of oil from the Kurdish north in response to what Ankara viewed as a destabilizing move. So far, there are no indications that Kurdish oil exports or operations have been disrupted. Representatives from Gulf Keystone, DNO and Genel declined to comment about the status of operations.

On Tuesday, the federal Iraqi Oil Ministry called on the North Oil Co. to "speed up the implementation" of a project meant to move oil from a pipeline running from the disputed northern city of Kirkuk. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for a region-wide reconstruction effort after declaring northern Iraqi provinces liberated from the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, ISIS, and Daesh.

The line running from Kirkuk, which the federal government said avoids Kurdish territory, could carry between 250,000 and 400,000 bpd.

Parts of the northern Iraq are considered disputed territories with the KRG.

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