Iraqi minister calls for new oil company in Kurdistan Region
Iraq’s Oil Minister, Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar, said on Monday, April 11, the ministry met with the Kurdistan Region’s delegation to discuss the Region’s oil contracts.

Abdul-Jabbar said the Kurdistan Region’s oil contracts should be reviewed and a new company should be established in Erbil to manage the oil sector, which would be supervised by the federal oil company.

He also said his ministry abides by the basic principles previously proposed by the oil ministry regarding the management of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) oil.

The basic principles were to send to the Iraqi Oil Ministry all contracts and agreements the KRG has made with other countries and their oil companies for the ministry to review, amend and develop, Abdul-Jabbar said.

The minister said it would be in the best interest of the public for a joint effort to be made to resolve problems and fill the gap that has stemmed from the issues of previous years and begin a new phase.

Speaking on the KRG delegation’s visit to Baghdad on Monday, Abdul-Jabbar said the Kurdish delegation will return to Erbil to discuss with the KRG the start of another round of meetings and dialogue with the delegation from the federal government.

Abdul Jabbar, speaking at the conclusion of a round of talks with Kurdish officials, also stressed the importance of reviewing Kurdistan’s current oil contracts, the oil ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters.

A high-level delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) visited Baghdad earlier on Monday for talks with senior Iraqi officials following a federal court’s ruling on the Region’s oil and gas law.

The KRG has been developing oil and gas resources independently of the federal government, and in 2007 enacted its own law that established the directives by which the region would administer them.

The Region’s massive untapped oil reserves, lucrative production-sharing contracts and safe environment have prompted international oil companies over recent years to commit to investing billions of dollars there.

But in February, Iraq’s federal court deemed the oil and gas law regulating the oil industry in Kurdistan unconstitutional and demanded that the KRG hand over their crude supplies.

Iraq’s federal court’s ruling gives the oil ministry in Baghdad the authority to manage oil and gas fields in the Region.

Member of the KRG delegation Khalid Shwani said in the press conference that the Region “wants to resolve the issue of oil with Baghdad on the basis of constitution”.

Shawani said they were direct in Monday’s meeting and agreed to work on developing mechanisms that could form future work plans to resolve the oil problem between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad.

He also said the oil and gas law was the best solution to the pending issues and Monday’s meeting signals a good start to cooperation between the oil ministry and the KRG.

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