Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region has ramped up independent oil sales since mid-June while cutting allocations to Iraq’s state oil firm SOMO in an escalating dispute over export rights and budget payments. Kurdistan has sold at least 9 million barrels of oil in 11 tankers from the Turkish port of Ceyhan so far in June, according to shipping data and traders, compared to 5 million it allocated to SOMO in early June after which transfers largely stopped. June became the first month of large independent sales since December last year, when Kurdistan agreed a deal with Baghdad to transfer up to 550,000 barrels per day to SOMO in exchange for Baghdad allocating Arbil 17 percent of budget payments. The deal has faced troubles ever since with Baghdad accusing Arbil of allocating smaller-than-agreed amount of oil and Arbil saying Baghdad is paying less than a half of what is due. […]