Kurdistan Parliament amends oil and gas law
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Parliament approved amendments to the Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas law in its Wednesday session.
According to Kurdistan 24’s correspondent, most parliament members voted for the amendments to the law.
“Seventy-nine parliament members out of the 111 members voted for amending Article 4 of the oil and gas law, which is related to the structure of the Kurdistan Region’s Oil and Gas Supreme Council,” Golizar Rasheed, the deputy head of parliament’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told Kurdistan 24.
Thirty-two parliament members did not vote for the law’s amendments.
“The amendment added one additional member to the Kurdistan Region’s Oil and Gas Supreme Council,” Ali Hama-Salih, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee head, told Kurdistan 24. “However, we had concerns about implementing the oil and gas law, particularly regarding the establishment of a company for drilling, transporting, and marketing the oil.”
The additional member of the five-member Oil and Gas Supreme Council is the Chief of Staff of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Council of Ministers.
Under this new amendment, three members of the Oil and Gas Supreme Council will be from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), two from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and one from the Movement for Change (Gorran).
A few months ago, the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court ruled that the KRG oil and gas law is unconstitutional. The decision was firmly rejected by Kurdistan Region’s parliament, government, presidency, and Supreme Judiciary.
The Iraqi Ministry of Oil also threatened international oil companies with contracts with the KRG, telling them to stop operating in the Kurdistan Region or face legal action.
Following these developments, the KRG started to think about establishing its own oil and gas company that would handle the drilling, production, transportation, and marketing of the Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas, so it’s not dependent upon working with international oil companies.
The amendments made Wednesday in the Kurdistan Parliament are part of the KRG’s efforts to achieve self-dependency in its energy sector.