SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Region’s Judicial Council on Saturday rejected a ruling by Iraq’s federal supreme court that Kurdish authorities should hand over their crude supplies.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been developing oil and gas resources independently of the federal government, and in 2007 enacted its own law that established the directives by which the region would administer them.
Kurdistan’s massive untapped oil reserves, lucrative production-sharing contracts and safe environment have prompted international oil companies over recent years to commit to investing billions of dollars there.
But in February, Iraq’s federal court deemed the oil and gas law regulating the oil industry in Kurdistan unconstitutional and demanded that the KRG hand over their crude supplies.
Iraq’s federal court’s ruling gives the oil ministry in Baghdad the authority to manage oil and gas fields in Kurdistan.
“The actions of the KRG in relation to oil and gas operations are in accordance with the Iraqi constitution of 2005,” the Region’s judicial council said in a statement.
“The provisions of the oil and gas law issued by the parliament of the Kurdistan region in 2007 do not violate those of the Iraqi Constitution,” it added.
It further said Article 112 of the Iraqi constitution, announced in August 2005, granted the federal government supervision over Kurdistan’s oil and gas fields operating at that time, but that fields that started commercial production after that date did not apply to this article.
It also indicated that all oil and gas fields currently operating in the Region started commercial production after August 2005.