KRG Oil Sales Hit $3b

KRG Oil Sales Hit $3b
KRG Oil Sales Hit $3b

Iraqi Kurdistan has sold 34.5 million barrels of oil worth almost $3 billion since January, the Kurdistan Regional Government said, despite opposition from the federal government to independent oil sales from the region.

The KRG said in a statement that it would make an initial payment of $75 million to oil producing companies for their exports and would make further payments on a regular basis, sparking a rally in producers' share prices, TradeArabia reported.

Companies producing oil in the semi-autonomous region include the UK's Genel Energy, Gulf Keystone Petroleum and Afren, and Norway's DNO. Shares in Gulf Keystone rose by more than 6 percent, and Genel shares rose more than 3 percent.

The KRG added that the proceeds of the $2.87 billion sales were being treated as part of what it claimed as its "constitutional entitlement" of 17 percent of Iraqi government revenues, which it says have not been paid by Baghdad since January.

"The KRG is balancing almost a year of non-payments of its budgetary allocation from Baghdad," said Ayham Kamel, Middle East and North Africa director at Eurasia Group.

The statement comes a day after the KRG's minister for natural resources told a conference in Arbil that the region's exports were approaching 300,000 barrels a day.

The KRG said that it had shipped 21.5 million barrels of crude to the Turkish port of Ceyhan and trucked 13 million barrels to the Turkish port of Mersin since January.

It had received $2.1 billion in cash and $775 million in payments in kind via refined oil product sales.