Iraqi federal court deems Kurdistan oil, gas law ‘unconstitutional’  

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq’s federal court on Tuesday deemed an oil and gas law regulating the Kurdistan Region’s oil industry unconstitutional, according to the official Iraqi news agency.

The federal court stated in its decision that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) must hand over all crude from the Region and neighboring areas to the federal government.

It further said the KRG oil contracts with oil companies, foreign parties and states “invalid”, including exploration, extraction and sale agreements.

It also ruled to commit the KRG to allow the Iraqi oil ministry to “review all oil contracts entered into by KRG for the export and sale of oil and gas”.

The KRG has been developing oil and gas resources independently of the federal government, and in 2007 entered its own law that established the directives by which the Region would administer these resources.

KRG crude is exported through a pipeline that runs from Iraq’s Kirkuk region to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Iraq’s federal government has long called for all oil exports in the country to go through it, having previously lashed out at Turkey in 2012 and 2014 for its role in refining and re-exporting oil produced in the Kurdistan Region.

“Today is a dark day in the history of the Kurdistan Region … The decision will have a significant impact on the oil project, extraction and the sale of oil and gas in the Kurdistan Region,” Iraq’s former deputy minister Fazil Nabi told Esta Media Network.

“The decision has a negative impact on the extraction and sale of oil and the contracts,” he added.

He, however, said it was not “the end of the world” and that there were still ways for the KRG to take with the federal government.

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