Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has announced that it exported a record amount of oil last month.
The KRG has announced that nearly 18 million barrels of oil were exported in May. That’s about 578,000 barrels of oil per day.
The rare data was released by Kurdistan’s Ministry of Natural Resources on Thursday. The KRG usually almost never reports on its oil output and exports as it tends to hide such figures from the government in Baghdad, according to past allegations by the Iraqi central government.
“The KRG remains on track to meet its oil export commitments under the 2015 federal budget and is pleased that KRG export volumes, already at record levels, continue to increase,” according to authorities from the semi-autonomous region.
The Ministry said that about 407,000 bpd came from fields in the Kurdish region. The other 171,000 bpd came from fields operated by Iraq’s Northern Oil Company.
Most of the oil came from the Kirkuk oilfields that lie on the Iraqi border with the Kurdistan region.
KRG troops took over the city of Kirkuk from the ISIL terrorist group last year causing tensions with Baghdad who demanded that Kurdistan’s forces surrender the city.
The KRG had a long-running dispute with the Iraqi central government for years mainly over oil exports and revenue sharing.
Last year, the situation between the two governments deteriorated where the KRG wanted to export its oil separately from Baghdad. In retaliation, the Iraqi government cut off payments to government employees, including security personnel, in the KRG.
Baghdad and the KRG, however, reached an agreement in December of 2014 under which Kurdistan would deliver 550,000 bpd for export to the joint State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO).
In return, the central government would share 17 percent of Iraq’s oil revenues, or about $1 billion every month, with the KRG.
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