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Iraq amends draft oil and gas law – official

Amended long-delayed law would decide who controls Iraq's vast oil reserves - Reuters

July 2, 2011 9:26 by

Iraq has made some amendments to its long-delayed oil law which is being reviewed by the cabinet’s energy committee, Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani’s office said.

Iraq has signed a series of oil contracts with international firms expected to boost its status as a global oil producer but investors have been waiting for the approval of a hydrocarbons law to provide a more solid legal framework for exploration.

“Iraq’s energy committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani discussed in its meeting on Thursday the revised draft of the oil and gas law which was submitted by the Oil Ministry,” Shahristani’s media office said in a statement released late on Thursday.

“The committee has decided to study the draft and submit the remarks in its next meeting which will be held next week.”
No further details were given about what amendments had been made and officials were unavailable for comment.
Iraq’s draft oil law was approved by the cabinet in 2007 but has faced opposition, mainly from the semi-autonomous Kurdish zone, which is locked in a dispute with Baghdad over sharing revenue and control over some fields in northern Iraq.

The law would decide who controls Iraq’s vast oil reserves, the world’s fourth-largest, and is also aimed at attracting foreign investment.

Iraq has set a goal of boosting production capacity to 12 million barrels per day by 2017 from around 2.7 million bpd now.

The statement from Shahristani, who is responsible for Iraq’s energy affairs, said Thursday’s meeting had also been attended by Iraq’s oil, electricity, water resources, science and technology and environment ministers. (Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Serena Chaudhry)

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