Iraqi Kurdistan's energy minister says
Gorran Oil report inaccurate
Kurdistan Regional Government
(KRG) Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami.
Photo: Getty/Ekurd.net •
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Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — A report published by the
Change (Gorran) Movement’s Economic Research Center
claims that 39,000 barrels of oil a day have gone
missing in the past year. The finding came after
investigating a letter sent from Kurdistan’s
Ministry of Natural Resources to the Iraqi
government that asked for petrodollar money for
178,000 barrels of oil extracted in Kurdistan.
The report says that out of 178,000 barrels of oil,
95,000 have been exported through Iraqi oil
pipelines, and 53,000 barrels a day have been sent
to local oil refineries for domestic use, leaving
39,000 unaccounted for.
If a barrel of oil is sold for US$106, the report
adds, then US$1.05 billion is missing.
In an interview with Rudaw, Kurdistan Regional
Government (KRG) Minister of Natural Resources Ashti
Hawrami says, “The entire report is based on wrong
information, therefore the results are very far from
accuracy and truth.”
Hawrami explains that the report claims oil exports
via Iraqi pipelines started at the beginning of
2011, which is untrue. “Oil exports started in March
2011,” Hawrami says. “This is to say the number of
barrels of oil exported via Iraqi pipelines is
109,000 barrels, not 95,000 as the report mistakenly
claims. Thus the 39,000 barrels a day of oil they
claim to be missing is 0.”
Bayazid Hassan, a Change Movement (Gorran) member of
the Oil and Gas Committee in Iraqi Parliament,
supports the results of the report saying, “The
Iraqi government does not pay for oil extraction
costs in the Kurdistan Region,www.ekurd.net
because the Iraqi government says 39,000 barrels of
oil are extracted on a daily basis and have gone
missing. The government wants to know where that oil
has gone. This is the basis of the oil problems
between the Kurdistan and Iraqi governments. That is
why the Kurdistan Regional Government halted oil
exports on April 1, 2012.”
Hassan added, “The Iraqi budget is based on the
revenue of 2.06 million barrels a day of exported
oil. From that number, the Kurdistan Region was to
send 175,000 barrels a day.”
Regarding the extraction cost payment to oil
companies, Hawrami says, “LPG [liquefied petroleum
gas] has been given to the Dana Gas Company as
compensation for its work. Moreover, we have the
right to spend $1 of each barrel of oil. Regarding
how much oil has been exported and how much LPG is
used, we have sent all those details to Baghdad.
However, what has been given to Dana Gas is LPG, not
According to Kurdistan’s oil and gas law, enacted in
2007 in Kurdish Parliament, a revenue fund box was
supposed to be set up, but has not been as of yet.
Hawrami says, “It’s true, it has not been set up
yet. But we prepared the project a long time ago.
The project was approved at the Kurdistan ministers’
meeting on May 12, 2011. After some notes from both
the Ministry of Planning and Ministry of Finance, it
was approved to be proposed to parliament.”
However, Kurdistan’s Council of Minister did not
send the project to parliament.
As the Ministry of Natural Resources, we did our
part, Hawrami said.
“I do not know why the project was not sent to
parliament later,” he said.
KRG Ministry of Natural Resources halted oil exports
earlier this year claiming that the Iraqi government
was not abiding by an agreement it made with the KRG
in 2011 to pay for the extraction costs of oil in
the Kurdistan Region. The Iraqi government has not
paid the companies for the last 10 months.
In a meeting with the Council of Ministers last
month, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said,
“The agreement has never been completely implemented
by the Iraqi government.”
PM Barzani and the Ministry of Natural Resources
claim that, according to the agreement, the Iraqi
government is supposed to send 140,000 barrels a day
to the Kurdistan Region from the Beji and Dora oil
refineries, from 700,000 barrels they refine a day.
The Iraqi government has sent only 33,000 barrels a
day to Kurdistan since the beginning of this year;
the amount has now dropped to 15,000 barrels a day.
Regarding whether the Kurdistan Region will resume
oil exports via Iraq’s State Oil Marketing
Organization (SOMO) or not, Hawrami said, “We will
not export anything until Baghdad implements the
According to statistics in the Journal of Turkish
Weekly, published by the Anakara Strategic Research
Center, Kurdistan’s oil reserve is 45 billion
barrels, excluding Kirkuk oil.
Hawrami told Rudaw, “We can export 200,000 barrels a
day and in a short period we can reach 300,000
barrels a day, but unless the Iraqi government
complies with the agreement, we will not export any
KRG claims that the amount of kerosene and gas sent
to Kurdistan by the Iraqi government is not
sufficient for the region’s domestic use. Therefore,
the Kurdistan Region imports the products via Iran.
Iraq has been threatening to cut off refined oil
products to Kurdistan completely. This has worried
the people of the region.
“We assure the people of Kurdistan that we will not
let them down,” Hawrami told Rudaw. “The Kurdistan
Regional Government has drawn a successful plan for
energy provision. We have a plan B and a plan C for
The Journal of Turkish Weekly says the Kurdistan
Region is preparing for direct oil exports via a
pipeline built to the Turkish border.
At the energy conference held in Erbil last month,
Hawrami said, “By August 2013, we will be able to
export oil directly.” He also said that the revenue
from 17 percent of the directly exported oil will be
used in Kurdistan and the rest will be sent back to
the Iraqi oil revenue treasury in Baghdad.
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