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International law expert confirms KRG’s authority to manage oil & gas resources

TUE, 5 FEB 2008 21:36 | KRG Cabinet

Ministry for Natural Resources
Erbil, Kurdistan Region

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has received an expert independent legal opinion that confirms the KRG’s constitutional authority to manage the Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas resources.

The KRG asked for a formal independent legal opinion from Professor James R. Crawford, a professor of international law, through Clifford Chance, a multinational legal firm.

Professor Crawford concluded, “The Kurdistan Region Oil and Gas Law is consistent with the Constitution of Iraq”.

He also concluded, “Existing contracts entered into by the KRG for oil and gas exploration and exploitation since 1992 are valid unless they conflict with the Constitution. Pending agreement between the KRG and the federal government on strategic policies, the authority of the KRG to authorise the conclusion and implementation of new contracts is unqualified.”

Dr Ashti Hawrami, the Kurdistan Regional Government Minister for Natural Resources, said, “We have never had any doubt about our constitutional right to manage the Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas resources, and we are pleased that this independent legal opinion confirms that our actions are in full compliance with Constitution.”

Please click on the following links for the full text of Professor James R. Crawford’s Legal Opinion.

Legal Opinion

Arabic translation of Legal Opinion