25 April 2009

Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq (KRG.org) – Dr Ashti Hawrami, the Kurdistan Regional Government Minister for Natural Resources, said at a UN-sponsored conference that Iraq urgently needed to pass a fair and transparent revenue sharing law. 

Dr Hawrami made his comments at a round-table conference in Erbil organised by UNAMI on ‘Hydrocarbon Resource Management in the Context of a Federal System’, on 7th and 8th April. The participants invited by UNAMI were Iraqi federal government and KRG officials, Iraqi and Kurdistan Region lawmakers and outside experts. 

Minister Hawrami said, “It is my personal belief and real concern that if a fair, transparent and an unambiguous Revenue Sharing Law is not enacted soon…then the unity and the future of the country would be at risk.” He added, “All our political leaders and the Federal Parliament must take their responsibility seriously about this matter and act accordingly.” 

Dr Hawrami made his comments at a UNAMI conference in Erbil on 8th April on ‘Hydrocarbon Resource Management in the Context of a Federal System’. He criticised politicians and lawmakers who have been pressing for carving out and removing large sums of the oil revenue for undefined ‘strategic projects’ before sharing it. He fears that this would lead to possible abuse and misuse of Iraq’s oil wealth. 

The Minister also highlighted that the focus of discussions has shifted unhelpfully to a federal oil and gas law which, he said, is “Putting the cart before the horse. Without a prior agreement on the revenue sharing law, the oil and gas law then became unnecessarily contentious”. 

Dr Hawrami criticized outdated practices by the federal Ministry of Oil, which has spent some $8 billion over the last three years but still failed to boost production, in stark contrast to the KRG’s achievements. He said, “In a short period of time we have managed to create some real opportunities for the benefit of all Iraqis”. 

The KRG’s achievements include the completion of: two refineries; a project to transfer reservoir gas to electricity thereby solving a substantial part of the Kurdistan Region’s power needs; a constitutionally compliant Kurdistan Region Oil and Gas Law and a state-of-the art production sharing model contract for small blocks; three oil field discoveries so far, and more to come. 

The Minister added, “We are ready to export 100,000 barrels a day right now; that will gradually increase to 250,000 once the additional field pipelines are completed by the end of this year or early next year. We could have been exporting this oil well over a year ago, but due to the lack of cooperation from the oil ministry, the oil export was kept back, thus Iraq has lost billions of dollars so far and will continue to lose million of dollars every day if this damaging policy is not stopped. KRG gets its 17% of Iraq’s budget anyway, so the losers are all of us in Iraq, and not just the KRG.” 

Dr Hawrami concluded, “Real revenue sharing will bind us all together. The KRG has always shown flexibility in the past towards imaginative initiatives, and continues to look at new ideas constructively if they lead to solutions that will not compromise on constitutional arrangements.” 

Read Minister Hawrami’s opening remarks in English at the UNAMI conference. 

Read Minister Hawrami’s opening remarks in Arabic 

Read his main presentation in English 

Read his main presentation in Arabic 


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


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