KRG deputy PM urges independent oil sales due to Baghdad unreliability
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said that the reason that Erbil will not transfer control over its oil industry to Baghdad is because there is no reliable substitute for the income that it receives from independent oil sales.

In an interview with the Iraqi National News Center, Talabani accused the federal government of not complying with previous agreements and of failing to transfer financial benefits to the Region since 2014, using a temporary deal from last summer as an example.
In August 2020, as the KRG struggled to pay public sector salaries amid low oil prices and a budget dispute, Erbil and Baghdad reached an agreement where the latter would send 320 billion Iraqi dinars per month in return for the former bringing its customs procedures under federal control.
“But unfortunately, this agreement only lasted for two months and then was suspended,” Talabani said.
The KRG deputy prime minister said that, if Region’s entire oil production is transmitted to Iraq's oil marketer SOMO as has been suggested by some parties in Baghdad, then there is no guarantee that the Region will receive its share of the federal budget.
Talabani also indicated that there were disagreements over the total number of people working for the KRG, which would affect how much money Baghdad could send.
He said that the federal Ministry of Finance is only recognizing 683,000 public sector workers in the Kurdistan Region, but claimed that there are in fact 751,000.
Head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) National and Iraqi Relations Office Ali Hussein told his party’s official media outlet on Friday that the federal government is ready to reach agreement with the KRG, but that obstacles are being laid by other parties in Baghdad.
Meanwhile, First Deputy Speaker of Council of Representatives Hassan al-Kaabi said in a televised interview on Friday that the differences with the Region about the budget are technical and that negotiations were on track, adding that the budget for 2021 will guarantee the rights of citizens from Zakho to Basra.
Reporter's code: 50101