Iraq oil may flow as deal advances

January 11, 2020

first_img“We reached a final agreement,” Barzani said. “We accept the draft.” There was no comment on the announcement from Khalilzad or Talabani, and Barzani did not elaborate. It was unclear whether new concessions had to be made to win his approval. Al-Maliki’s government had promised to enact a new oil law by the end of 2006 but missed the deadline due to objections from the Kurds, who wanted a greater role in awarding contracts and administering the revenues. The Cabinet discussed the draft Thursday but failed to agree. Once the Cabinet signs off, the measure goes to parliament for final approval after legislators return from a recess early next month. The Bush administration, facing growing pressure to end the Iraq conflict, has been urging the Iraqis to finish the new oil law. SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq – Kurdish authorities have agreed to back a draft law to manage and share Iraq’s vast oil wealth, removing the last major obstacle to approving the measure and meeting a key U.S. benchmark in Iraq, a top Kurdish official said Saturday. Approval of a new oil law could help open the way for international oil companies to invest billions to upgrade Iraq’s decrepit wells and pipelines and exploit the country’s reserves, among the world’s largest. The bill also provides a formula for distributing revenues among all major ethnic and religious groups, easing Sunni fears of being cut out of a future bonanza because their central and western homelands lack extensive reserves. Massoud Barzani, president of the self-governing Kurdish administration in the north, announced the agreement at a joint press conference with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and President Jalal Talabani. Barzani said he and Talabani had discussed the latest draft law by telephone with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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