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Iraq says KRG yet to hand over crude as budget stalemate continues

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Iraq says KRG yet to hand over crude as budget stalemate continues

Highlights

Draft budget states KRG must hand over 250,000 b/d

Parliamentary vote on budget scheduled for March 15

Baghdad has blamed KRG for OPEC quota violations

Dubai — Iraq has not received any barrels of crude from the semiautomous Kurdistan Regional Government, a federal oil ministry official said March 14, with the two sides still embroiled in a budget stalemate.

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Talks continue between the federal government in Baghdad and the KRG "in the hope of reaching a bilateral agreement that serves the interest of the country," Hamid Yunus al-Zobaei was quoted as saying by the official Iraq News Agency.

A draft budget, which Kurdish news agency Rudaw reported will be put to a vote in the federal parliament on March 15, calls for the KRG to hand over 250,000 b/d of its crude production to SOMO in exchange for its share of federal revenues. Baghdad and Erbil agreed on the draft budget in December.

Iraq's 2021 budget deficit is 28.6 trillion dinars ($20 billion), according to the INA report.

KRG officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the past Baghdad has often blamed Kurdish non-compliance with OPEC+ cuts for the country's overall oil overproduction in the last few years.

Iraq pumped 3.89 million b/d during February, according to S&P Global Platts' most recent survey of OPEC production. This slightly exceeds its assigned quota of 3.857 million b/d under the OPEC+ production cut agreement.

Zobaei said in the INA report that the oil ministry has reached an agreement with international oil companies on how to compensate them for restricting production under the OPEC quotas but did not elaborate.

Under complex technical service contracts, the IOCs are paid quarterly a fixed fee per barrel linked to production, and Baghdad could be liable for hefty compensation if output falls below specified levels.