From September 2015 onwards, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will on a monthly basis allocate a portion of the revenue from its direct crude oil sales to the producing international oil companies (IOCs), and as export rises in early 2016, the KRG envisages making additional revenue available to IOCs.
At the start of 2015, the KRG reached a deal with the federal government in Baghdad to export crude oil in exchange for regular payments of the Region’s 17% revenue entitlement. The arrangement was enshrined in the 2015 federal Iraqi budget.
The KRG recognizes the spirit of cooperation in which the budget deal was struck with the federal government and it remains determined to build on such progress, and through dialogue and discussion to reach a lasting agreement with Baghdad on all outstanding issues relating to oil and gas and revenue sharing.
The KRG has also been pleased with the level of technical cooperation on the ground from federal government entities such as the North Oil Company (NOC) and SOMO. The KRG will continue to facilitate oil export from NOC-operated fields in Kirkuk via the KRG’s pipeline network to Turkey.
However, due to a number of factors, the federal government has to date been unable to provide the Kurdistan Region with its monthly budgetary dues. As a result, the KRG has been obliged to introduce direct crude oil sales from Ceyhan to help pay Kurdistan Region’s governmental salaries, maintain vital government services, and of course, pay the Peshmerga and other security forces who are fighting Islamic State terrorists.
Although the revenue gained from direct sales is still below Kurdistan’s 17% share of the federal budget, it is significantly higher than the amount the federal government was able to allocate to the KRG on a monthly basis.
In this regard, the KRG acknowledges and appreciates the economic contribution to the Kurdistan Region made by the producing IOCs and their success in raising oil export from Kurdistan to record levels. They have demonstrated their commitment to the people of Kurdistan at a time when the Region has been fighting terrorism, enduring a budget shortfall from the federal government in Baghdad, and shouldering the social, political and economic burden of an influx of 1.8 million refugees and internally displaced people.
The KRG also recognizes the patience of the producing IOCs, which, despite receiving hardly any payments for their crude oil production since May 2014, have maintained operations and have continued to invest to support Kurdistan’s crude oil export.
Crude oil export is the principal revenue earner for the Kurdistan Region. But, it is also recognized that it is difficult for the IOCs to sustain oil export at its current levels, let alone increase it as planned, without receiving their financial dues.
Therefore, from September 2015 onwards, the KRG will on a monthly basis allocate a portion of the revenue from its direct crude oil sales to the producing IOCs, to cover their ongoing expenses. Furthermore, as export rises in early 2016, the KRG envisages making additional revenue available to IOCs to enable them to begin to catch up on the past receivables due under their production sharing contracts.