February 5, 2020 / 7:43 AM / 20 days ago

Iraqi Kurdistan agrees with Baghdad on 2020 budget share: state media

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The government of Iraq and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan have reached an agreement on Erbil’s contribution to the 2020 federal budget, state news agency INA reported on Wednesday.

The deal includes a transfer of 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the oil-producing region to Iraq’s national budget, Kurdistan regional government (KRG) spokesman Jotiar Adil was quoted as saying.

Iraq’s 2020 federal budget is currently under discussion in parliament.

Last year’s budget, which included Kurdistan region’s contribution, was forecast at 133 trillion dinars ($112 billion) based on oil exports of 3.88 million barrels per day at a price of $56 per barrel.

At the moment, KRG’s exports stand at around 400,000-500,000 barrels per day.

The 2019 budget also included payment of salaries for the Peshmerga, the military force for the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, a move that helped ease tension between Baghdad and Erbil.

Kurdish officials said they will wait until the Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi forms a new government before starting to transfer oil revenues to national state company SOMO as agreed, INA said.

Adil said the transfer will begin when Baghdad starts meeting its obligations and there is no fixed Kurdish share in the country’s budget.

Allawi must form a new cabinet within a month and face a confidence vote in parliament.

Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubil; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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