ERBIL – Opinions in Iraq were divided between those who considered that the country won politically after winning an international decision related to the export of oil in the Kurdistan region, and was able to impose its prestige and legitimacy at the political level, and those who believe that this profit is offset by financial loss and economic damage estimated at about one billion dollars per month, due to the delay in the resumption of oil flows amid a financial deficit suffered by Iraq's annual budget estimated at about $ 50 billion.

Iraq had won an arbitration lawsuit filed before the ICC Arbitration Panel in Paris against Ankara over the export of crude oil from the Kurdistan region through the Turkish port of Ceyhan without reference to the Iraqi Oil Marketing Company (SOMO).

Following the decision, the export of Kurdistan's oil of 480,25 barrels per day stopped on March 0, and the stopped flows represent only about 5.33% of the global oil supply, without resuming until today, as the indicators of damage and financial losses amounted to more than one billion dollars per month, by 70 million dollars per day, calculating the average price per barrel at $ <>, according to oil experts.

This comes at a time when Iraq has been seeking for years to increase its daily oil production, and Baghdad relies on crude oil exports to build its annual general budgets.

According to the 2023 draft budget law, Iraq must export 3 million and 500 thousand barrels per day, including 400 thousand barrels from the region, at a price of $ 70 per barrel, most of which is exported from the Turkish port through the pipeline that extends from Kirkuk in the north of the country to Ceyhan in Turkey.

The export halt has caused the region to lose half of its monthly revenues, exacerbating its economic crises, and causing a "big problem" for its employees, according to a previous interview with the region's finance minister, Awat Sheikh Janab.

Kurdistan's halt in oil exports prompted several foreign companies, including U.S. and Canadian, operating in the region, to stop issuing their production forecasts.

Norwegian oil company DNO canceled its production forecast for the region, as did Genel Energy, canceling its production forecast for 2023, saying it was no longer valid for advertising in light of the closure of the Iraq-Turkey pipeline.

Who is most affected?

Experts in the field of oil and economy believe that the federal government in Baghdad is the most affected by the continued suspension of oil exports of the region through Turkish ports, because Baghdad will commit to paying the monthly salaries of Kurdistan employees, which are estimated at about half a billion US dollars, which were originally deducted from the revenues of the region's oil share.

Among the supporters of this view, oil expert Dr. Kovind Sherwani, who estimates Iraq's daily losses from the cessation of Kurdistan's oil exports at about $ 33 million, and more than one billion dollars per month, adding that Iraq exports 400,80 barrels per day from Kurdistan, in addition to nearly <>,<> barrels of oil from Kirkuk's exports that also stopped.

It has been 70 days since those exports stopped, meaning losses rose to about $2.3 billion.

What drives Sherwani to reinforce his view that the Iraqi economy is most affected by the suspension of Kurdistan's oil exports is that the country's general budget suffers from a deficit of about 50 billion US dollars.

"If the export halt continues until the end of this year, it means that the country will lose a billion dollars a month, and thus the budget deficit will worsen," he warned.

According to Sherwani, Iraq could have overcome these losses if it had moved diplomatically and discussed with the Turkish side to address and solve technical problems, stressing that the delay in export causes damage to Iraq, the region and even Turkey.

The Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government had signed an agreement on the fourth of last April that stipulated the export of the region 400 thousand barrels of oil per day through the national oil company "SOMO", and the nomination of a representative of the region in the position of assistant to the head of the company, and the opening of a bank account for the regional government to transfer to it imports of the sale of oil, provided that it is subject to the supervision of the Federal Financial Supervision Office.

Many observers were optimistic that this agreement would become a radical solution to settle the oil dispute that has been pending between the two sides for nearly 20 years, including with regard to the legislation of the oil and gas law, but has not yet resulted in the resumption of oil exports to the region.

In a previous interview, Iraqi Oil Minister Hayyan Abdul Ghani revealed the existence of what he said were "negotiations with the Turkish side to resume oil exports from the region," noting that the Turkish side informed Iraq of some of the damage that the pipeline was affected by the recent earthquake, and the operating company is examining this pipeline and making sure that there is no damage in it to start exporting.

Sherwani: The Iraqi economy is most affected by the suspension of Kurdistan's oil exports (Al-Jazeera)

Gain legal value

On the other hand, the official spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, Assem Jihad, disagrees with Sherwani's opinion and says that it is not about material losses as much as it has proven the legal value of the federal government by controlling Iraqi oil exports and respecting international agreements on oil between Iraq and Turkey.

Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, Asim Jihad said that the Iraqi Ministry of Oil sent an official invitation to the Turkish Ministry of Energy in order to hold a dialogue to resume the export of Iraqi oil, adding, "No party whatsoever has the right to export Iraqi oil other than the federal government through the Iraqi Ministry of Oil."

Jihad estimates the quantities of oil pumping through Turkish ports at about 450-500 thousand barrels per day, stressing that Iraq will export these quantities according to the mechanisms followed by the company "SOMO" and like what is exported in the rest of the country.

Safe hands

Dr. Sherko Jawdat, a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament, believes that Baghdad and Erbil have been affected both politically and economically after the cessation of oil exports to the region.

In a call with Al Jazeera Net, Jawdat stressed the need for agreement between the two parties to resolve the dispute between them regarding oil, gas and other files in accordance with the Iraqi constitution in addition to the enactment of the oil and gas law.

According to the Kurdish parliamentarian, the region's oil was not in safe hands, whether in terms of production, export or sale, expressing his hope that it will be in safe hands in the future under the cover of transparency in production, export and sale, he said.

After several attempts to contact him, Al Jazeera Net did not receive a response from the spokesman of the Ministry of Natural Resources in the Kurdistan Government of Iraq regarding its position on the cessation of the export of oil of the region and the delay in its resumption.