News from the Kurdistan Tribune:
Further to our recent report, the Ministry of Natural Resources has today halted oil exports from Kurdistan and told the Iraq government in Baghdad that, until it pays foreign oil companies $1.5 billion owed for their work, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is not obliged to open the pipeline for exports.
“After consultation with the producing companies, the ministry has reluctantly decided to halt exports until further notice,” Kurdistan’s Ministry of Natural Resources said in a statement.
“There have been no payments for 10 months, nor any indication from the federal authorities that payments are forthcoming,” it said.
The reaction from Baghdad is not good: up to now it has offered to pay $650 million only. This is the first time the KRG has carried through on its threat to use its oil to pressurise the Iraqi government.