Iraqi Minister Says Ready to Settle Oil Issues With Kurdistan Region

Iraqi Minister Says Ready to Settle Oil Issues With Kurdistan Region

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Tuesday (September 19) he was ready for dialogue with the Kurdistan Region to settle oil issues.

Luaibi said his country needs an oil price between $55 to $60 a barrel for a better financial situation, CNBC Arabiya reported on Tuesday.

Speaking at an energy conference in the United Arab Emirates earlier on Tuesday, Luaibi said Iraq did not see the need for oil producers to reduce output further.

Tensions between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and central government hit a high in 2015 after officials from both sides accused each other of failing to abide by the terms of an oil revenue sharing deal struck by officials in December 2014.

Officials from Baghdad and Erbil signed a revenue sharing deal, under which the KRG would receive 17 percent of the federal budget in exchange for exporting 550,000 barrels of oil per day to the Iraqi State Organization for Marketing Oil (SOMO) at Ceyhan Port in Turkey.

That deal collapsed months later when the KRG ceased transfers to SOMO altogether. Baghdad in turn stopped the transfers of budget payments.