Iraq's crude oil production from the northern Kurdistan region is expected to be more than double next year due to oil field development plans, Barham Salih, the Prime Minister for the Kurdistan Regional Government, said yesterday.
"We are targeting 250,000 barrels a day next year, up from our current production of 120,000 barrels a day," Salih told Dow Jones Newswires in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum meeting at the Dead Sea in Jordan.
However, Kurdish exports have been reduced over the last weeks from a peak of 175,000 barrels a day in June this year to around 70,000 barrels a day now, Iraqi oil officials said.
The two sides — the central government in Baghdad and the Kurds — have been accusing each other concerning the reduction in Kurdish oil exports.
The Kurds said they have to reduce exports because Baghdad has been unable to fix technical problems in the export pipeline that carries their crude to the Turkish export terminal in Ceyhan. Baghdad blames the Kurds for reducing exports.
But a top Kurdish government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the reason was Baghdad hasn't paid the money it owes, estimated at around $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion), to the KRG from oil exports since February.
Iraq's crude oil production stands at around 2.8 million barrels a day, and the Kurdish output constitutes only a small percentage. Iraq is exporting a total of 2.2 million barrels a day.