Iraqi Provinces to Reap $1 per Barrel

Iraqi provinces will have the right to reap $1 from each barrel their oil fields produce, the cabinet has announced.

The decision is part of the draft projects which need to be approved by parliament before turning into law.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabagh said the government hoped parliament will pass the draft law and that the allocations for the oil-producing provinces will be part of the 2010 budget.

Previously, the provinces were only given 50 cents for each dollar.

The measure, when applied, will substantially add to budgets of some provinces.

For instance, the impoverished Province of Basra, whose oil fields currently produce up to 2 million barrels a day will earn more than $700 million a year.

Another winner will be Kirkuk whose fields produce up to 500,000 barrels a day.

The measure is good news for other southern provinces such as Missan where gigantic oil fields of billions of barrels await development.

Other oil-related decisions by the government include the approval for the drilling of 45 oil wells in Basra’s Rumaitha field by a Turkish firm.

The cabinet has also agreed to add 500 billion dinars (a U.S. dollar is worth 1,250 dinars) to the capital of the Southern Oil Company based in Basra.

(Azzaman)

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