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Kurdistan petroleum law gets first reading in Kurdistan’s parliament

MON, 9 JUL 2007 12:32 | KRG Cabinet

Kurdistan petroleum law gets first reading in Kurdistan’s parliament

Erbil, Kurdistan-Iraq (KRG.org) - Today Mr Adnan Mufti, the Speaker of the Kurdistan National Assembly (parliament), announced the first reading of the draft Kurdistan Region Petroleum Law. The law was transmitted from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Council of Ministers to the Kurdistan National Assembly early last week.

"The Kurdistan National Assembly clearly understands the significance of this long-awaited draft law", said the Speaker, after the first reading. "It is vital to the future of the Kurdistan Region that we have a modern, transparent, investor-friendly petroleum law that maximises returns to all the peoples of Iraq."

The Speaker noted that the Secretary of the National Assembly confirmed last Friday that the draft Law is consistent with the Kurdistan Region's rights and obligations under the Iraqi Constitution, and is consistent with the rights of the Kurdistan Region recognised in the draft Iraq oil and gas law agreed in February and the draft Iraq revenue sharing law agreed in June.

The Iraqi Constitution, in Articles 111, 112, 115, and 121, specifies that petroleum management is a Regional power, with Regional law taking priority. The draft Iraq oil and gas law, agreed by the federal council of ministers in February 2007, recognises the Kurdistan Regional Government's authority to regulate petroleum operations in the Kurdistan Region. The draft Iraq revenue sharing law, agreed in June 2007, provides for the equitable distribution of all Iraqi petroleum revenues, including Kurdistan Region’s revenues, with a guaranteed allocation of 17% of those revenues to the Kurdistan Region.

The Speaker confirmed the commitment of the Kurdistan National Assembly to the Iraqi Constitution. "The Iraq Constitution was approved by more than 99 per cent of voters in the Kurdistan Region, and by nearly 80 per cent of voters throughout Iraq", he noted. "It establishes a federal system that is the only way forward for Iraq. It is clear from this draft Petroleum Law that the Kurdistan Regional Government is committed to cooperating with Baghdad and sharing all revenues from Kurdistan petroleum with the rest of Iraq."

Mr Mufti also noted that the draft law had been the subject of a year of hard work and consultations between the Assembly, the KRG Ministry for Natural Resources, and the KRG Ministry of Justice. "I know how much care has gone into this draft. The level of public consultation, including with international experts, NGOs, and potential investors, both in the Kurdistan Region and abroad, is particularly commendable. We look forward to further discussions in the Assembly of this important Law."

After the first reading today, the Speaker referred the draft Petroleum Law to the Legal Committee and the Financial and Economic Committee of the Kurdistan National Assembly. Those committees will prepare a report on the draft for the coming session of the Assembly, on a date to be determined, for the Assembly to consider and vote upon it.

The draft Kurdistan Region Petroleum Law is available in English and Arabic.

The draft Iraq Revenue Sharing Law is available in English and Arabic.

For inquiries, please contact spokesman(at)krg.org

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