File - Tanker trucks wait to be loaded at Taq Taq oil field in Arbil at the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, about 350 km (220 miles) north of Baghdad, September, 5, 2012. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
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A 4-month-old oil deal between Baghdad and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region is close to unraveling after payments from the capital dried up, prompting Irbil to threaten to sue buyers and ramp up independent oil exports.Under a new deal, the Kurds committed to export an average of 550,000 barrels per day in 2015, in exchange for Baghdad resuming budget payments of over $1 billion a month to Kurdistan in 2015 .Last year, SOMO threatened to sue direct buyers of Kurdish oil and has successfully stopped some sales.Kurdish minister Ashti Hawrami said the region was committed to the deal, but since Baghdad was not sending enough money, the heavily indebted region was forced to sell some oil to repay creditors.If the oil deal between Baghdad and Irbil collapses, the chances are high the KRG, which under the December deal currently sells 80,000-100,000 bpd independently from SOMO, will be moving back to ramping up independent sales.
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