Joint committee formed to find solutions for oil and gas issues between Baghdad and Erbil

ERBIL, September 17 (AKnews) – Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister said a joined committee has been formed between the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) and Iraqi Government to find common grounds in oil and gas issues betwen the two governments until a final Hydrocarbon law is passed and and end is put to the issues for good.

Rojh Nouri Shawais believed “Solving the ongoing oil disputes between Baghdad and Erbil will have positive effect on sorting other issues, too.”

KRG and Baghdad have been locked over several issues other than oil and gas including control over disputed territories, budget of the Kurdistan Region’s Guard known as Peshmarga.

Forming the committee is a step toward impediment of creation of obstacles facing the implementation of the agreement, added Shawais.

The oil and gas issue has long been one of the major issues between the regional and central governments. Kurdistan Regoins has signed a oil deals with world giants amid Baghdad rejection of the deals. Baghdad wants to maintain the authority as the only legitimate party to sign oil deals while Kurds want to manage their own oil fields. Tensions rose between the two sides after KRG halted exports accusing Baghdad of not paying the dues of the companies working in the region. Baghdad said the KRG had not met its quota of of oil exports per day. The new committee is headed by representatives of Iraq’s oil Ministry and KRG’s Ministry of Natural resources to sort any problems occurred before the ratification of oil and gas draft law.

The first oil and gas bill was submitted in 2007 but lack of political consensus left the bill unapproved. The oil and gas committee sent the second bill to parliament. Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussein al-Shahrestani also submitted another bill in 2011.