Friday, August 03, 2007
(UPI) - The Kurdistan Regional government in Iraq has approved part of its own oil law while a federal law is far from approval. The KRG's Parliament met in special session Tuesday and approved four of the 62 articles of the law governing regional oil and natural gas resources, the Voices of Iraq news agency reports. Lawmaker Areez Abdullah said Parliament will continue taking up the law during upcoming special sessions.
The vast majority of Iraq's 115 billion barrels of oil is located in the Shiite-controlled south and Kurdish north. Iraq produces about 2 million barrels per day now, below the 2.6 million bpd pre-war level. Iraq's Parliament has been urged by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and pressured by President Bush to approve a federal oil law. That law is far from approval because of the varying standpoints of Iraq's political, ethnic and religious factions as well as the oil unions over how much control the central government should have over key oil fields vs. the regional/local governments as well as the role of foreign companies.
The Kurds have wanted action from Baghdad but are now moving forward on their own oil law. The KRG area is different from the violent and chaotic rest of Iraq. It has experienced relatively little violence and modest economic development. The two main KRG parties disagreed on the regional oil law last week. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the party of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, walked out of a session after its request to stall the regional law was denied.