Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kurds say not so fast, buster!

Signing away one's own country's resources to foreign oil companies is all well and good, but even an idiot knows to get their promises to share in writing!

IRBIL, Iraq, Jan. 24 Iraqi Kurdish officials say a deal has not been struck for a federal hydrocarbons law despite the oil ministry's assurance the law would be voted on soon.

Kurdistan Regional Government Oil Minister Ashti Hawrami told the Financial Times the relatively stable oil-producing northern region has not agreed to the oil law.

Several issues are not still resolved, Hawrami said. The ministry of oil statement is unfortunately premature.Negotiations over a law governing all of Iraq's oil and natural gas production have been ongoing for months. It is stuck on control and revenue sharing between the central and regional government.

The Kurds and some of the Shiites in the south, where most of Iraq's 115 billion barrels of proven oil reserves are, want more of a regional control. KRG officials say they want the final say on all future contracts while the central government wants to have complete control.

The KRG also wants an automatic mechanism for sharing revenue from oil and natural gas sales, which has not been finalized yet.

Hawrami said more meetings are set for next week.

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