Analysis: Iraq oil law in limbo

Hassan Jumaa Awad, president of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, an umbrella group representing more than 26,000 workers, said their complaints with the law rest primarily on the fear foreign companies will have too much access to — and possibly ownership of — Iraq’s oil.

“First of all, we are against the production sharing agreements,” Awad said. PSAs are deals whereby a company provides capital investment in the project, sells enough of the first oil produced to recoup its costs, and then splits the rest of the oil with the government. Companies can “book” their reserves, bolstering their portfolios. “These kinds of contracts … we don’t like it at all,” Awad, speaking via a translator, told UPI from a mobile phone in Rome. He ‘ s on a speaking tour to generate support and spread information about the law. There is also debate on companion bills to the hydrocarbons framework — a more formal common title to the oil law, which was approved by the Iraqi Cabinet in February. The law has, however, run into opposition from all sides — including on how the revenue will be collected and redistributed throughout the country and whether the federal or regional government has control over certain fields.

I’m afraid I don’t have enough to say for a proper diary. I just want to share this because it is so rare we are offered a glimpse into the internal debates taking place in Iraq.