Erbil, Feb. 3 (AKnews) – Oil exports from the Kurdistan Region are expected to "officially" resume in the coming days after grinding to a halt in 2009 over disputes between the regional government and Baghdad.
The expected shipments follow an agreement between Iraqi government officials and the Kurdish Premier Barham Ahmed Salih in mid-January in Baghdad.
Iraq's oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi is expected to visit Erbil in the coming days to participate in the official resumption of oil shipments.
"After our visit to Baghdad, we met with the foreign companies operating in the oil fields of Kurdistan as well, now they are ready to resume oil exports and they have also carried out several test operations" Salih told AKnews.
"We are now waiting for the Iraqi Minister of Oil to visit Erbil to jointly launch the resumption of oil exports"
Shahristani said earlier that the shipments had resumed at 10,000 bpd. Once the exports fully resume, the Kurdish region will export 100,000 bpd.
Kurdistan halted oil exports in October 2009 after the Iraqi government refused to pay the financial gains of the foreign companies.
Some 42 foreign companies from 17 countries are currently involved in oil investment in Kurdistan. According to previous statements from the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources, the region has the capacity of exporting up to 200,000 bpd.
"We have come to terms with the companies that their exploration and development costs will be given, but after the resumption of oil exports" Salih told AKnews.
Reported by Hazhar Mohammed, edited by Raber Y. Aziz