Oil & Gas Law Key to Resolving Issues

Hawrami stressed the need to enact the oil and gas law, and said, “The law, which we are seeking to pass according to the constitution, will be the key for all the contentious issues between the two sides in the oil sector.”

During a joint news conference with Kurdistan Region of Iraq President Massoud Barzani on Sunday, July 7, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said, “There are no disputes between the federal government and the provincial government, it is merely a divergence in views regarding the Constitution.” Hawrami continued, “Most of the differences are political and they arise from the non-application of the Constitution in relation to the distribution of proceeds.”

Article 112 of the Iraqi Constitution stipulates: "The federal government with the producing governorates and regional governments shall undertake the management of oil and gas extracted from current fields provided that it distributes oil and gas revenues in a fair manner in proportion to the population distribution in all parts of the country with a set allotment for a set time for the damaged regions."

The article stresses, “The federal government, with the producing governorates and regional governments, shall undertake the management of oil and gas extracted from current fields provided that it distributes oil and gas revenues in a fair manner in proportion to the population distribution in all parts of the country with a set allotment for a set time for the damaged regions.”

Hawrami downplayed the importance of the pressure exerted by Baghdad on oil companies operating in the region to discourage them from implementing the contracts. “This does not affect the work of these companies and they are ready to continue despite the delay in payment of their dues,” he added.

“Crude oil reserves in the Kurdistan region, excluding the disputed areas, are at 45 billion barrels, and possibly even more. Yet the preliminary gas estimates are at 100 or 200 trillion cubic meters,” he said. Concerning his ministry’s plans to increase production in the coming period, he said, “The target production for 2015 is 1 million barrels per day, reaching 2 million barrels per day in 2019. As for the refining of crude oil and the production of hydrocarbons, they are estimated to increase to 150,000 barrels per day, and could reach up to 250,000.”

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