(Bloomberg) -- No progress has been made in long-standing talks for international oil companies to resume exporting crude from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani said in a televised news conference.

Al-Sudani said the government is eager to resolve an impasse over prices that has halted oil exports for more than a year. But he said the companies refuse to amend contracts signed years ago with semi-autonomous, oil-rich region of Kurdistan. 

“The companies refuse to amend, so the process stops at this point,” he said.

Iraq is OPEC’s second-largest producer. 

The country’s federal budget through next year sets an average cost for the production for each barrel at $8. But it costs $26 a barrel for the companies working in Kurdistan, which forced the companies to halt production, Al-Sudani said.

He didn’t say when discussions with the companies might resume.

--With assistance from Kadhim Ajrash.

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