Oil exports from the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq declined by nearly 50% in February due to the ongoing outage of a pipeline to Turkey, wiping $350m off the cash-strapped Kurdistan region’s revenues as it battles Islamic State, Reuters reported.
The pipeline, which carries crude from fields in the Kurdistan region and Kirkuk to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan has been idle since mid February due to security circumstances inside Turkey, the Kurdistan region’s Ministry of Natural Resources informed. Due to a three week cuts in oil flow, the output has declined to 350,000b/d last month.
Turkey’s Energy Ministry said it was repairing the pipeline, and an industry source based in the Kurdistan region confirmed that the work would be completed within days.
The drop in oil shipment is considered to be a major blow to Kurdistan, which depends on revenue from its exports through the pipeline and is struggling to avert an economic collapse induced by low oil prices, Trade Arabia wrote.
The Kurdistan’s Ministry of Natural Resources declared that after allocating $70.9m for producers, the region was left with only $233m in export revenue, which is less than 30% of the amount needed to cover a bloated public payroll.
The pipeline runs through Turkey’s restive southeast, which has seen the worst violence since the 1990s after a two-year ceasefire between the government and Kurdish militants broke down last July. Ankara has accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party of blowing up the pipeline, but the militant group denies responsibility.