3 July 2007

The Spokesman 
Kurdistan Regional Government 

The Iraqi cabinet in Baghdad today announced that it has approved the hydrocarbon law and will submit it to the Iraqi parliament for its approval tomorrow. 

However, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), a key party to the negotiations on the hydrocarbon law, has not seen and approved the final text of the law, for the following reason. The Iraqi cabinet’s legal committee, which has a remit to harmonise and standardise legal texts for the purposes of consistency, has gone beyond its remit by making material and substantive changes to the content of the law. 

While the KRG is happy with the legal committee’s language improvements and restructuring of the legal text, we reject its changes to the substance of the law. The KRG has therefore reinserted the text in line with the draft that was agreed in February 2007 and sent it back to the Chairman of the Oil and Gas Committee, Dr. Barham Saleh. If the Iraqi cabinet has agreed to the revised text that contained only changes to ensure standard legal consistency, we welcome this good news. However, if it has agreed to the version that included material and substantive changes, the KRG rejects this document. We have not been informed which text the Iraqi cabinet has approved. 

The background to the draft hydrocarbon law is that in February 2007 the Baghdad government and the KRG agreed on the law as a package that was to be put to parliament. The package was the draft hydrocarbon law itself, annexes to the law, an agreement on the role of the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC), and the revenue sharing law. We agreed on 21st June on the draft revenue sharing law, which is a very positive development. 

As already mentioned, we have not seen the final text of the law that the Iraqi cabinet says it will put to parliament. We hope that the cabinet is not approving a text with which the KRG disagrees because this would violate the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region. The material changes made by the legal committee were not only outside its remit but were also in violation of the constitution, which directly affects the role of the KRG.


As per KRG's agreement with the Iraqi government and under the 2015 Budget Law


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