Today [Monday] the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Barham Salih, following the visit to Erbil of Iraqi Federal Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi, welcomed the new efforts made by all parties in the federal government on Iraq’s planned oil and gas legislation.
“We have had excellent discussions with Finance Minister al-Issawi,” said Prime Minister Salih. “The formation of the new government in Baghdad under the premiership of Dr Maliki has clearly been an opportunity to address these important oil and gas issues. The planned legislation will address oil and gas revenue distribution policy and improved oil exports.”
Prime Minister Salih confirmed that the KRG has received from the federal government proposed drafts of an Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) law and a revenue sharing law from Baghdad for the KRG’s review.
On the progress made on the advancement of much needed federal legislation, Prime Minister Salih stated, “It is essential that all the inter-related laws of the INOC, Federal Hydrocarbon Law and the Ministry of Oil Restructuring Law are presented to the Parliament as a package to ensure consistency and to avoid further delays.”
On cooperation with Baghdad, Prime Minister Salih said, “The KRG believes that close cooperation on oil and gas strategy and export policies is vital to the security and well-being of the people of Iraq.”
He added, “The KRG Ministry of Natural Resources has accepted an invitation to support the advisory office of the federal Prime Minister and its international consultants on an integrated energy strategy for all of Iraq.”
KRG oil export and contractor payments
Oil exported from newly discovered fields in the Kurdistan Region is currently being marketed by the federal government’s State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO), with a percentage of the revenues to be allocated to the contractors via the KRG, according to the recent agreement between Erbil and Baghdad.
Prime Minister Salih stated, “The federal government had previously committed itself to the payment of KRG oil contractors. These contractors are now adding significant volumes to Iraq’s oil exports.”
“Under the management of the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources and the leadership of our Minister Dr Ashti Hawrami, we are now exporting via Turkey significantly more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day. That volume is increasing day by day,” Prime Minister Salih said.
He added, “The KRG has today presented its first oil export statement to the federal Finance Ministry for over five million barrels of oil delivered to SOMO since the commencement of export earlier this year. The KRG expects to receive from Baghdad its first payment for the Kurdistan Region contractors, as previously agreed with Prime Minister Maliki.”