(MENAFN) Iraq's Kurdistan autonomous region announced that it has stopped oil exports as a result of a payment dispute with the central government of Baghdad, reported Gulf Daily News.
Kurdish Ministry of Natural Resources adviser, Ali Hussein Balo, said that Baghdad sent only USD547 million from the USD848 million it should pay to oil firms working in the region.
Balo said that Kurdistan was forced to suspend oil shipments, as Baghdad didn't carry out a commitment it made in the September deal in regard to payments.
He added that the region was sending nearly 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) before recently starting to lower exports.
Last year, the two sides reached a tentative agreement under which the Kurds send oil to Baghdad, which sells it and pays 50 percent of the revenues to the companies to repay the development costs.
Nevertheless, the Kurds stopped exports of around 100,000 bpd in April, saying that the central government had made only 2 payments and failed to pay USD1.5 billion they were owed.
The self-ruled region consented to restart exports as a goodwill gesture fourth months later, enabling both sides to reach a new agreement under which Baghdad would pay nearly USD848 million to the firms in September.
According to Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy affairs, Baghdad didn't pay the full amount as the Kurds were pumping fewer than the 200,000 bpd they had promised.