Tuesday, August 07, 2007


KRG passes draft oil and gas law

Oil, Kurdistan
(Voices of Iraq) - Iraq's Kurdistan parliament passed on Monday the draft law of oil and gas concerning the northern Iraqi region after more than a month of debate. "Kurdistan parliament adopted today all articles concerning the region's oil and gas draft law after a debate that continued for eight extraordinary sessions," Kurdistan MP Ariz Abdullah told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
The 62-article-bill was endorsed after amendments were made to some articles, Abdullah said. Meanwhile, the media spokesman for the Kurdistan parliament Tareq Jawhar told VOI "following extensive discussions and crossing out five articles from the oil and gas draft law, the bill was passed in today's session."
The media spokesman added "the House also added two more articles to the adopted draft law concerning allocating part of the oil revenues to save environment and to families of victims killed under the previous regime." The 111-seat-Kurdistan parliament is composed of two major blocs, the Green represented by members of the Talabani-led Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Yellow represented by members of the Barazani-led Kurdistan Democratic Party.
The blocs were named after the colors they adopted during the first general election held in Kurdistan region in 1992. There is also another draft law on oil and gas in the whole country, which expected to be discussed in the Federal parliament in September after it will be back from recess. According to the presented oil draft law to the central parliament, there should be no contradiction between the oil law, if passed by the central parliament, and that adopted by regions, otherwise the law adopted by the Iraqi House will be the effective.
The draft oil and gas law for the management of oil resources is considered one of the most controversial issues in Iraq, and there are differences among political blocs on the law regarding the equitable distribution of revenue. The law, if approved by parliament, will give Iraqi and foreign investors the right to set up establishments and oil refineries and use them for 50 years.
Most of Iraq's known oil reserves are located in the Shiite-dominated south and the Kurdish north. Iraq sits on the world's third-largest oil reserves and officials have sought, since last year, to finalize the draft law. The law is vital for attracting foreign investment to Iraq, to boost its oil output and rebuild its economy. The Kurdistan regional government has signed several agreements with foreign companies regarding investments in the oil sector.

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