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Iraqi PM Says Kurds Exporting More Oil than Allocated

Source: Reuters 1/3/2017, Location: Middle East

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Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the autonomous Kurdish region was exporting more than its allocated share of oil as the country seeks to comply with an OPEC output cut.

In November, OPEC agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 2017 to support prices. Iraq, OPEC's second largest producer, agreed to reduce output by 200,000 bpd to 4.351 million bpd.

"The region is exporting more than its share, more than the 17 percent stated in the budget,” Abadi said. Oil exports from the Kurdish region have long been a point of contention with Baghdad, which claims sole authority over sales of all the country's crude.

Kurdish regional authorities have yet to publish oil export figures for December, but the Ministry of Natural resources said it had pumped an average of 587,646 bpd to Turkey's Ceyhan port in November.

Under the terms of the 2017 budget, which passed despite a boycott from a key Kurdish party, the autonomous region is allocated 250,000 bpd exports from oilfields under its control. That does not include the disputed Kirkuk fields, which Kurdish forces control but are run by Iraq's North Oil Company (NOC).

The Kurds built their own oil pipeline to Turkey and began exporting oil via Turkey without Baghdad's approval in 2013.

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