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The Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) denied on Thursday a report by news outlet NRT that the autonomous region in northern Iraq is selling 910,000 bpd and reaping nearly US$1 billion in oil revenues every month.
Earlier this week, NRT reported that the fields in the Kurdistan Region and in Kirkuk under the control of the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources are producing 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 reported, quoting a foreign source with knowledge of Kurdistan’s oil.
Now the ministry is dismissing this report, saying it was “fabricated and baseless”, NRT says.
“The Ministry of Natural Resources insists on the veracity of information included in the monthly reports over oil and gas revenue, production, exportation and expenses,” NRT quoted the ministry’s press release on the issue as saying.
Furthermore, the ministry said it would be suing the news outlet for having reported false and misleading information.
The KRG received US$328 million from crude oil exports in September, figures by the ministry showed in early October. Back then, the ministry said that the autonomous region had shipped a total of 16.94 million barrels of crude oil in September.
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A few days ago, Iraq published detailed data about the crude oil output at each of its 26 oilfields as well as equally detailed export figures, to prove that OPEC’s external-source output estimates do not reflect reality. This was an unprecedented level of detail for the data – Iraq usually supplies just one figure for output and one for exports. Now, the data also included a total output figure from fields in Kurdistan.
According to these figures, Iraq pumped 4.7 million bpd in September, a few hundred thousand bpd more than what the external sources that OPEC uses for its calculations had reported.
Iraq has been questioning the way OPEC calculates output from secondary sources since the day after the cartel agreed to work toward an agreement to curb production.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.