BAGHDAD (AP) – Iraqi Kurds are pushing the central government to recognize oil contracts they signed with international companies, insisting the self-ruled region will not resume oil exports until Baghdad accepts the deals.
An adviser to the Ministry of Natural Resources in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish north, Ali Hussein Balo, says the crude-rich region can export 150,000 barrels a day, but it will only do so if all “our deals are recognized,” Balo said in a phone interview Tuesday.
The Kurds signed more than two dozen oil deals Baghdad considers illegal. Exports from the north were halted in June 2009 amid disagreements over payments.
Iraq’s new oil minister last week declared the dispute settled and said exports from the north will resume soon.