Iraq votes to end KAR operations in Kirkuk

The Iraqi parliament on Monday voted to halt development operations by Kurdish company KAR Group in the contested oilfields of the Kirkuk region, local media reported.

According to the parliament’s decision, all exports from the fields will now be undertaken by Iraqi state firm SOMO.

The move triggered a protest from Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, who was cited by Iraqi News as saying, “We reject the decision by the Iraqi parliament to halt the works of a Kurdish company in the oilfields of Kirkuk… The parliament has no right to that.”

Addressing demands from the federal government for a clear “delineation” of the quantities and revenues of oil produced at Kirkuk, Barzani said, “We have come up with a scrutiny formula for the sake of transparency.” The prime minister also said an audit by global firm Deloitte had shown the the Kurdistan Region’s oil revenues were insufficient to cover the salaries of local public servants, a key question in the ongoing budget dispute between Baghdad and Erbil.

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