Iraq considers Kurdistan's energy deals as illegal

Feb 29, 2012 12:00 AM

The non-stopping oil contracts between the Kurdish government and foreign oil companies have raised concerns in Iraq.
Iraq's central government considers such energy deals as illegal, while the country's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region says the deals it has signed comply with the country's new constitution.

Lately, The Iraqi government has decided that some oil companies won't be allowed to participate in the next oil and gas bidding round saying the exploration contracts the companies signed with Kurdish officials are illegal. Kurdish politicians, however, state that there is no legislation for new oil and gas concessions.
Baghdad has already blacklisted the companies that maintain deals with the Kurdish government, excluding them from working elsewhere in Iraq. Some Kurdish statistics state that the details and the budgets of the oil contracts are far from transparency and this creates the main cause of tensions. The KRG has signed about 50 oil and gas deals with international oil companies.

Iraq has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves. Reports show that its gas reserves are the world's 10th largest.
Analysts say that there should be then ways to guarantee the sanctity of oil contracts everywhere in Iraq in order to secure political progress on the long-delayed oil law.

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