The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq is selling 910,000 bpd and reaping nearly US$1 billion in oil revenues every month, an investigative reporting piece by the Kurdistan region’s news outlet NRT showed on Wednesday. If the figures are correct, Iraq as a whole is pumping much more than the central government, the Kurdistan government, and OPEC sources have been estimating.
According to a foreign source with knowledge of Kurdistan’s oil, NRT has estimated that the fields in the Kurdistan Region and in Kirkuk under the control of the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources are producing as follows: Khurmala oil field – 210,000 bpd, Tawke oil field – 190,000 bpd, Taq Taq oil field – 110,000 bpd, Havana and Bai Hassan oil field – 300,000 bpd, and other small oil fields – 100,000 bpd. That’s a total of 910,000 bpd, or 27,300,000 barrels every month. If oil is sold at US$36 as the KRG has indicated, this means almost US$1 billion in revenue.
NRT’s investigation has revealed that except for some foreign companies and “officials from the Kurdistan Region, including Masoud Barzani, the KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and the KRG Minister of Natural Resources, Ashti Hawrami, no other individual or party is aware of the revenue”.
According to figures by the autonomous province’s Ministry of Natural Resources, the KRG received US$328 million from crude oil exports in September. For the whole month of September, the KRG shipped a total of 16.94 million barrels of crude, according to the ministry.
Iraq – which has questioned the way OPEC calculates output from secondary sources since day one after the cartel agreed to work toward an agreement to limit production – released a few days ago detailed data about the crude oil output at each of its 26 oilfields as well as equally detailed export figures, in an attempt to prove that OPEC’s external-source output estimates do not reflect reality.
The data also included a total output figure from fields in Kurdistan. According to these figures, Iraq pumped 4.7 million bpd in September.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com