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Iraq Moves to Implement Court Rule on Kurdistan Oil Operations


Khalid Al Ansary

Iraq said it will start implementing a court ruling that gives the federal oil ministry oversight of Kurdish production after failed talks with officials from the semi-autonomous region.

The Oil Ministry didn’t reach an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government over oil output and exports after 75 days of talks, Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said during a round-table meeting with officials in the Iraqi National Oil Co.

Baghdad’s central government has long asserted its right to manage resources in Kurdistan, which has been pumping and selling oil independently. The top court ruled in February that the Oil Ministry is the sole body in charge of all oil operations in the country.

Read more: Iraq’s Top Court Says Kurdistan Shouldn’t Sell Oil Alone

“We are moving to implement the provisions of this ruling. It is not easy,” the minister said. “We are still revolving around the absence of confidence” between relevant parties.

Baghdad has repeatedly said that it doesn’t intend to control oil activity and is rather seeking to regulate it, according to Abdul Jabbar. But the initiatives and flexibility offered by Baghdad’s oil ministry haven’t worked to boost confidence, he added.

INOC will implement the court ruling internally while the oil ministry will work with the federal finance ministry and international bodies to do what is required, said Abdul Jabbar. Iraq’s state-run oil marketing company, known as SOMO, and INOC will be in charge of reducing the impact of the implementation of the ruling on international markets.

“Such a ruling will lead to protecting energy security in the federal state,” the minister said. “It is illogical to have two polices for oil and gas output in one country. This situation cannot continue.”

Source: Bloomberg, 7. Mai 2022

Iraq Moves to Implement Court Rule on Kurdistan Oil Operations – Bloomberg



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