Iraq Kurds reject Dana Gas statement on payment rights

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Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region on Wednesday rejected a statement by UAE's Dana Gas that a London tribunal had awarded the company the right to receive some outstanding payments from theKurdish government.

Dana Gas, one of the largest oil and gas investors in the northern Kurdish region, said on Sunday the tribunal had ordered the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to restore previous regular payments as of March 21 until the case is concluded.

The Abu Dhabi-listed firm, which leads a consortium of investors, filed an arbitration case in London last October against the KRG, seeking to confirm its contract rights and to obtain payments for products which it had delivered.

The London Court of International Arbitration said it does not comment on any cases.

Dana Gas said in February it had not received any significant payments from the KRG since July 2013, and was pushing for payments to resume as soon as possible. A tribunal at the London Court of International Arbitrationwas set up to hear the case.

However, the KRG on Wednesday called Dana Gas's statement "inaccurate and misleading", and said there were no sums outstanding to Dana and that the UAE firm "owes the KRG substantial sums, provisionally quantified at in excess of $4.8 billion, which are the subject of claims by the KRG against Dana Gas."

"The Tribunal has not reached any final determination that any sums are due, still less 'outstanding' from the KRG. The KRG denies that any such amounts are due," the KRG said in a statement on its website.

"The ruling related to Dana Gas' request for provisional payments in the course of the arbitration, and prior to a decision on the merits, to avoid allegedly serious financial difficulties on its own part."

The KRG said it will continue to pursue its claims against Dana Gas.

The Pearl consortium, which is led by Dana, consists of Crescent Petroleum of the United Arab Emirates,Austria's OMV and Hungarian oil and gas group MOL.

Dana, which holds 40 percent of the consortium, has said it collected $69 million from the KRG in early 2013 but the flow of funds then dried up, leaving a trade receivables balance owed to Dana alone of $515 million at the end of last year - up from $354 million at the end of 2012.

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