New oil law negotiations highlight old divisions

In early talks between Baghdad and Erbil, negotiators have outlined the same points of conflict that have stalled oil legislation since 2007.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani (right) meets with KRG President Nechirvan Barzani on Nov. 27, 2022 in Baghdad. (Photo credit: KRG Presidency)

SULAIMANIYA/BAGHDAD - Sixteen years after Iraqi leaders first tried to pass a national oil law, they are again trying to negotiate an authoritative legal framework for the country's oil sector.

The talks are still in preliminary stages, according to multiple officials on both sides, but they have already revealed a familiar line of conflict: the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is insisting on autonomous control of the oil assets in its territory, while the federal government wants strong, centralized control.

This content is for registered users. Please login to continue.
If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription.