‘80 percent of the KRG oil contracts are good and have no problem’: Iraqi Oil Minister
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar stated on Saturday that 80 percent of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) oil contracts are good and have no problems.
“We have problems with only 20 percent of the KRG oil contracts we want to review,” Abdul-Jabbar told local media. “The problem between Baghdad and Erbil is the mistrust between the two sides.”
The senior official said that his ministry has already proposed a roadmap for solving the issue of the Kurdistan Region’s oil portfolio within the frame of the Iraqi constitution and in line with the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court’s decision.
Abdul-Jabbar expressed optimism with regard to the authorities in the region accepting his ministry’s proposed solution. He underlined that both sides should give up on some of their demands to reach a compromise agreement.
Abdul-Jabbar emphasized that he informed the KRG delegation of his ministry’s commitment to the three following points as part of the solution:
To review, amend, and improve the KRG oil contracts.
To establish Kurdistan Oil Company, based in Erbil but under the federal government’s control.
To have Erbil and Baghdad mutually run the policies of the oil fields developing and oil-exporting.
“The KRG believes that the Iraqi Federal Supreme Council decision regarding the KRG oil contracts is not a binding decision for them and that they will not abide by it,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “However, we as the Iraqi Minister of Oil have to abide by it.”
The oil minister pointed out that despite respecting the Federal Supreme Council’s decision, the oil dossier can’t be politicized because oil pertains primarily to the business sector.
“We must adapt, and the problem needs to be solved,” he added.
The Iraqi Oil Minister on Monday proposed establishing a new oil company headquartered in Erbil to manage the Kurdistan Region's portfolio.
The oil minister called for reviewing the contracts and agreements signed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) with oil companies and foreign countries.
He made the remark at a joint press conference with Khaled Shuwani, the head of the Kurdistan Region's negotiating delegation in Baghdad.
Abdul-Jabbar also called for opening an escrow account in an international bank to deposit the revenues from the KRG's sale and export of crude oil. That account would belong to the Iraqi Ministry of Finance and would be used to arrange payments to the Kurdistan Region if the Iraqi Ministry of Finance did not pass on its warranted funds on time.