Iraq's Kurdish regional govt says oil trade unaffected by dispute with Baghdad

A view shows the facilities of Kurdish oil company KAR, in Erbil
A view shows the facilities of Kurdish oil company KAR, in Erbil, Iraq, July 21, 2022. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed

Aug 26 (Reuters) - The government of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region said on Friday its oil production and trade remain unaffected by recent attempts by Baghdad to control its oil revenue.

"Oil... in the Kurdistan region continues to be produced, to be shipped, to be sold, to be refined, and to be consumed. Investment interest remains and production is expected to increase," the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said in a statement on Friday.

The Kurdistan region produces around 450,000 barrels per day of crude, most of which it exports.

Iraq has made several bids to enforce a February ruling by its Federal Supreme Court that the legal foundations of the Kurdistan region's oil and gas sector are unconstitutional. read more

In its most recent move, Iraq's State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) said in a letter that it would block loadings of unlawful cargoes originating from Iraq, including those from the Kurdistan region.

It also said it would take legal measures against traders or buyers of Iraqi oil that it had not endorsed. read more

In its Friday statement the KRG condemned the letter, which it said undermined dialogue between its government in Erbil and Baghdad.

The statement reiterated the KRG's rejection of the supreme court ruling, saying it did not recognise the court's legitimacy.

The KRG's differences with the federal government "must be resolved in accordance with the Federal Constitution and the constitutional rights of the people of the Kurdistan Region and all of Iraq", the statement said.

Until that time, "the Kurdistan Regional Government will continue to take vigorous steps to defend those rights", it added.

Reporting by Rowena Edwards; Editing by Jan Harvey

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