MPs from the ruling State of Law Coalition and the Kurdistan Alliance confirmed the presence of positive vibes between the federal government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil regarding the possibility of passing the Oil and Gas Law, which governs the management of oil wealth in the country.
The law is supposed to be passed during the current legislative session, which ends in early 2014. However, the MPs preferred to maintain discretion regarding information on the final draft of the law.
A high-ranking source in the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told Al-Monitor that “Prime Minister Maliki and KRG President Massoud Barzani discussed during the latter’s latest visit to Baghdad an amended draft of the Oil and Gas Law and agreed on showing it to their partners, so that it can soon be passed in the Iraqi parliament, before the current legislative session ends in early 2014.”
However, the federal government and the semi-autonomous KRG disagree on oil and its imports in the northern provinces. While Baghdad demands that the agreements with foreign and local companies on the drilling operations happen with its knowledge and that the region send the export revenues to the federal government, the Kurdistan region wants the federal government to pay the dues of oil companies working for it, before requiring oil revenues to be sent to Baghdad.
The Oil and Gas Draft Law has undergone several amendments since 2011, but it has not received the needed consensus yet.