Three main points hinder adoption of oil and gas law, says parliamentary committee

BAGHDAD, July 16 (AKnews) – The oil and energy committee in the Iraqi Council of Representatives stated Monday that three main points hinder the adoption of the controversial oil and gas law related to the ownership of the oil wealth and its management.

Committee member Furat al-Sharei said: “The Kurdistan Blocs Coalition (KBC) and Iraqiya List support the management of oil wealth through a federal office whose director is chosen in the Council of Representatives by voting while the government demands of voting for the director in the Council of Ministers.

“The other point of dispute is the property and according to the constitution the federal government believes that the oil belongs to the people wherever it was and the Kurdistan Regional Government considers that the regions have other shares.

“With regard to validity, the federal government believes that it has the validity to manage oil wealth because it is a national treasure and the brothers in the Kurdistan Region and Iraqiya List agree that the regions and the provinces have the power to manage oil wealth.”

The Iraqi cabinet approved the oil and gas draft law in 2007 but faced Kurdish objections. The law will determine the party that controls the vast oil reserves in Iraq which is the fourth-largest reserves in the world.

Baghdad granted 15 contracts to international energy companies since 2008 and so far while the Kurdistan Region concluded contracts with foreign oil companies to develop oil fields, Baghdad does not recognize such contracts.

The two sides held several rounds of negotiations without reaching a final solution.