Draft Iraq oil law makes headway

Parliament to debate draft after agreement between government and Kurdish authority.

    Iraq sits on the world's third-largest oil reserves [AP]

    Oil wealth sharing


    The draft oil law is crucial in regulating how wealth from Iraq's huge oil reserves will be distributed between sectarian and ethnic groups.


    The bill was approved by the cabinet in February but many Kurds opposed it.


    Oil wealth

    Hoda Abdel Hamid reports from Iraq's Kurdish region

    Particular objections were raised to parts of the draft that would see oil fields being taken from regional governments to be placed under a new state oil company.


    Jihad declined to say when the agreement had been reached, adding parliament could make changes to the draft.


    Most of Iraq's proven oil reserves are located in the Shia-dominated south and the Kurdish north.


    Iraq sits on the world's third-largest oil reserves and officials have sought since last year to finalise the draft law.


    Investment boost


    The draft law is vital for Iraq to attract foreign investment to boost its oil output and rebuild its economy.


    Recent disputes came after Iraq’s oil ministry warned regions in late April against signing contracts until the law was passed.


    The Kurdistan regional government has signed several agreements with foreign companies.


    In recent months, Washington has sent several officials to press Nuri al-Maliki, prime minister of Iraq's Shia-led government, to speed up the passage of laws aimed at increasing the participation of Sunni Arabs in the political process.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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