The semiautonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq received close to $100 million for the first million barrels of oil it piped to Turkey and shipped to international markets, an official said Monday, marking a critical step in Kurdish efforts to become independent crude exporters. Buyers of oil from the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, deposited $93 million of the $97 million owed on the first tanker of crude at Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS , Turkey’s state-owned lender known as Halkbank, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Monday in Ankara. The payments came in phases and both Baghdad and Kurdish authorities have been notified about their receipt, Mr. Yildiz said. The first deposit for KRG oil exports comes as the regional authorities in Erbil face a significant budget squeeze. Iraq’s central government started cutting off payments to the KRG in January amid a dispute over the Kurds’ contested right […]