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Iraq’s Kurds may sell parts of power sector to plug budget gap: regional deputy PM

ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - The autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq may sell parts of its electricity sector to raise funds to help plug a budget gap left by sinking oil prices, the region’s Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani told Reuters.

The KRG is also “considering monetizing assets including oil infrastructure”, Talabani said in an interview on Thursday in the region’s capital Erbil, declining to give more details on what might be offered to investors and on what terms.

The Iraqi Kurdish government “is working with the private sector to hand over some elements of the electricity sector” such as bill collection, he said.

The region is running a monthly deficit of about 380-400 billion Iraqi dinars ($350-$370 million) with oil prices having fallen to about $30 a barrel from more than $100 two years ago. The region produces about 600,000 barrels of crude a day in production-sharing agreements with international oil companies.

Reporting by Isabel Coles; Editing by Louise Ireland