MOSCOW,— Russian oil giant Rosneft said Tuesday it had paid authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan an advance of $1.3 billion as part of production sharing deals that have angered Baghdad.
Rosneft announced last month it had signed agreements for five oil blocks in the region, which is at loggerheads with Iraq’s central government over independence.
“In the third quarter of 2017 the company made advance payments totaling $1.3 billion under a Kurdistan Government crude oil purchase contract,” Rosneft said in its published results.
Following the agreement the Iraqi oil ministry said that only it or the federal government had the right to negotiate investments in the country’s energy sector.
Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaybi slammed “irresponsible announcements coming from certain officials in Iraq or abroad,” without mentioning the Russian state oil giant by name.
In September, Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly voted to break off from Baghdad, a decision that led to a standoff with Iraqi troops, and prompted fears for continued oil supplies from the region.
Recoverable oil reserves at the five blocks are around 670 million barrels, Rosneft said last month, calling the estimate “conservative”.
Also in Tuesday’s results, Rosneft announced it had almost doubled its net profit for the third quarter year-on-year on the back of higher oil prices.
Net profit from July to September was 47 billion rubles ($790 million, 680 million euros), compared to 26 billion rubles ($430 million, 375 million Euros) for the same period in 2016.
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