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Baghdad, Erbil agree to resolve lingering oil dispute

KRG, Iraqi government had agreed on oil exports, payments in December, but that resolution has fallen apart
Iraqi workers at an oil refinery near the village of Taq Taq in Kurdistan (AFP)

The Kurdish Regional Government and the Iraqi federal government in Baghdad have agreed to cooperate on resolving oil disputes, said officials from both sides Monday. 

After a meeting in Erbil, the chairman of the Iraqi parliamentary oil and gas committee said that the sides were open to an agreement. 

"Both sides want the disputes to be resolved with open dialogue and negotiations," said Arez Abdullah, stressing that Baghdad had failed to send Erbil's funds because of lack of money in its federal banks. 

Abdullah said a law on the sharing of natural resource in Iraq will be introduced, but didn't indicate when. 

The two sides had reached an agreement on 2 December: Erbil would export 250,000 barrels of oil per day, and Kirkuk province 300,000 barrels per day, under Baghdad's supervision. Meanwhile, the Iraqi government would provide 17 percent of the national budget to the Kurdish Regional Government in return. 

But Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government, said on 29 January that Erbil could not send the amount of oil that Baghdad requested, saying the Kurdish region was facing an economic crisis. 

While Erbil sends 200,000 barrels of Kirkuk oil to Turkey's port of Ceyhan every day for the international market, the Iraqi federal government requests the remaining 100,000 barrels. 

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