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Baghdad outlines plan for takeover of Kurdistan oil sector

To implement a landmark Federal Supreme Court decision, the Oil Ministry proposes steps to begin federal oversight of KRG oil and gas operations. Kurdish leaders remain defiant.
KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) receives Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (left) in Erbil on September 10, 2020. (Photo credit: Kurdistan Regional Government)

ERBIL/BAGHDAD - Iraq’s Oil Ministry is proposing the creation of a Kurdistan National Oil Company under federal ownership as a means of implementing a landmark court ruling that invalidated the legal foundations of Kurdistan's oil industry.

In a letter dated March 24, signed by Oil Minister Ihsan Ismaael and confirmed as authentic by two Oil Ministry officials, the Oil Ministry also orders the KRG to supply copies of all oil and gas contracts signed between the semi-autonomous region’s government and external parties over the past 18 years, as well as statements of related revenues.

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