File - A flame rises from a chimney at Taq Taq oil field in Arbil, in Iraq's Kurdistan region, August 16, 2014. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
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Iraqi Kurdistan is gaining financial independence from the government in Baghdad as it exports enough oil to pay its own way. The Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, is shipping directly to Turkey in defiance of the central government, which started withholding its share of state revenue in January in retaliation. Exports are set to rise from 300,000 barrels a day to 500,000 barrels in the first quarter, according to the KRG.Gulf Keystone seeks to increase output by 74 percent to 40,000 barrels a day by the end of the year, and plans to boost production to about 65,000 barrels to 70,000 barrels within two years once it secures regular export payments, Chief Executive Officer John Gerstenlauer said over the phone Thursday.The KRG has exported 34.5 million barrels of oil at a value of $2.87 billion since January, it said in a statement last week.The KRG last year signed a deal to deliver Turkey 4 billion cubic meters of gas annually from 2017, rising to 10 billion by 2020, Genel said in August.
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