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Iraq resumes oil pumping through Kurdish pipeline

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World Pipelines,

According to Reuters, Asim Jihad, a spokesman for the Oil Ministry in Baghdad has stated that Iraq has resumed oil pumping from fields operated by the state-run North Oil Company (NOC).

A dispute between the government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional government (KRG) over the control of Kurdish oil exports meant that pumping was halted in March.

Resuming the flow of crude through the Kurdish pipeline should ease the financial burdens that are on the Kurdish government, after it was hit by the collapse of oil prices two years ago.

Jihad told Reuters that approximately 70 000 bpd are being pumped through the respective Kurdish pipeline but gave no further details.

Kurdish control

In June 2014 and after the northern divisions of theIraqi army's disintegrated due to advances made by Islamic State, Kurdish forces took control of the Kirkuk and its oilfields.

In March, former oil minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, demanded that the Kurds either return to a previous oil agreement or sign a new agreement in order to resume pumping through the pipeline.

The previous agreement stated that the 550 000 bpd of oil produced in their region must be transferred to Iraq's central state oil marketing company in return for a 17% share in the federal budget. The Kurds stopped oil transfers to the government last year and also stopped receiving the federal funds.

Iraq produces 4.6 million bpd, of which about 500 000 bpd from the Kurdish region and the rest from the oil-rich south.

Edited from various sources by Anna Nicklin

Sources: Reuters, Voice of America

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