OSLO, Norway, Dec. 3 (UPI) –Norwegian energy company DNO became the latest company to confirm payments from the Kurdish government of Iraq for crude oil exports.
DNO shares $30 million with its partners at Genel Energy for payments towards oil exported from the Tawke field in the Kurdish north of Iraq.
“The payment is the third such monthly payment received in 2015,” the company confirmed.
British energy company Gulf Keystone Petroleum was paid for exports earlier this week.
The Kurdish north hosts some of the larger oil fields in Iraq and while the Kurdish government said crude oil exports are its principle source of revenue, it said it recognized energy companies operating in the region face difficulties moving forward without their share. In August, the government said it would allocate some of its revenue to international oil companies on a monthly basis to help cover their expenses.
DNO said production from Tawke to date averaged about 157,000 barrels per day, of which the bulk was transferred to the Kurdish government. About 20,000 bpd were sold by DNO to the local market and another 3,500 bpd processed in a local Kurdish refinery.
DNO in early May completed a two-year investment program to double the number of wells in the Tawke prospect and improve pipeline capacity. It set a daily production record at Tawke of just over 150,000 barrels of oil and installed capacity to hit the 200,000 bpd mark.
The semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government started independent oil sales in June, averaging earnings of around $682 million per month. Total preliminary crude oil production from the Kurdish north for November was estimated at 19 million barrels.
Speaking to potential investors at a London energy conference, Deputy Kurdish Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said independent crude oil exports were a lifeline in an otherwise bleak economy.
“It is clear that the KRG’s fiscal situation is unsustainable and that major reforms are needed to restore fiscal balance,” he said.