It has been made known by Jabar al-Luaibi, Iraq’s Minister of Oil, that Iraq will begin sending Iran approximately 30,000 barrels of oil a day around the end of January. Jabar was quoted saying, “God willing, we will start before the end of the month.” The plan to sell the oil to Iran was announced in November 2017, shortly after the Kurdish Peshmerga were pushed out of Kirkuk, by Iraq’s State Organization for Marketing Oil. SOMO made the bold declaration that they would be sending an estimated 30,000-60,000 barrels a day to the province of Kermanshah in Iran.
The ministry is reporting that more than 100 million barrels total were exported in October 2017 with a revenue totaling upwards of $5.455 billion. When asked about this, the ministry declared that the statistics were “published for the people.” Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Iran’s Minister of Oil and a Kurd, stated that Iran will probably sign a contract to allow private companies the authorization to evaluate an oil pipeline out of Kirkuk and into Iran, during an November 2017 OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria.
Iraq seized control of the Kirkuk oilfields that same month with the aid of Iranian-backed paramilitary units and the Iraqi Army. Thereafter British Petroleum, the worlds largest oil company also known as BP, was brought in to bring the oilfields to working order. BP attempted to do this previously in 2003 but was halted by the Kurdish Regional Government for reasons pertaining to the legal status of the Kirkuk province.
Because Kurdistan lost the oil fields to Iraq, they can not export oil through a pipeline that ends in Ceyhan, Turkey as previously planned. Nechirvan Barzani, a Prime minister for the Kurdish Regional Government, said the KRG’s revenue “has been slashed by half” after losing Kirkuk and its subsequent oilfields. Because of the KRG oil exportation disputes between the Kurds and Iraqi government, it has been since 2014 that the KRG has received its percentage of Iraq’s federal budget.