MOSCOW, Russia. State #oil firm Rosneft (ROSN.MM) has become the first major #oil firm to pre-finance crude exports from Iraq’sKurdistan, joining trading houses in the race for crude from the-semi-autonomous region – @AceFinanceNews

#AceFinanceReport – Feb.21: This is a report on signing of a new agreement at 07:01: RUSSIA’S ROSNEFT SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH IRAQI KURDISTAN GOV’T TO PURCHASE #OIL FOR ITS FOREIGN-BASED REFINERIES – ROSNEFT – #AceNewsDesk reports
Rosneft becomes first oil major to pre-finance Kurdish crude We look forward to developing new markets forKurdish crude oil,” a statement by Rosneft quotes chiefexecutive Igor Sechin as saying. The contract is due for 2017-2019, Rosneft said.

Sechin said Rosneft would be taking Kurdish barrels to thecompany’s growing refining system. In Europe, Rosneft owns alarge refinery system in Germany. Rosneft also said it was looking to cooperate with Kurdistanin upstream and logistics. Kurdistan’s natural resources minister Ashti Hawrami said the deal was opening up new possibilities for cooperation between Rosneft and Kurdistan.

Kurdistan has started independent crude exports from thecentral government in Baghdad in the past three years as itargued it was not getting its share of Iraq’s budget revenuesand needed money to fund its war against Islamic State.

But as oil prices crashed, the region had to borrow as muchas $3 billion from trading houses such as Vitol, Petraco,Glencore (GLEN.L) and Trafigura as well as neighbouring Turkey,repayable by future crude sales.

Baghdad has first pledged to sue buyers of Kurdish oil as itinsisted the central government was the only legal exporter ofbarrels both from southern and northern Iraq.

But Baghdad has lately softened its stance on the companiesand traders working in Kurdistan with the barrels being sold inboth Europe and Asia.

(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; editing by Katya Golubkova)

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