Oil law negotiators hit reset

Casting aside the two latest conflicting oil laws, Baghdad's Luaibi and the KRG's Hawrami will negotiate based on 2007 draft legislation.
Parliament Oil and Energy Committee Chairman Adnan Janabi (R) gives a press conference with Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani (L) in April 2011. (BEN VAN HEUVELEN/Iraq Oil Report)

ERBIL - Iraqi leaders are expressing optimism that a new streamlined process will produce an oil law endorsed by both Baghdad and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, despite long-standing tensions that have been strained further by ExxonMobil's recent signing of Kurdish oil contracts.

The first stages of negotiations will involve just two men: Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi and Ashti Hawrami, the minister of natural resources for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Their starting point will be a 2007 draft oil law, which was delayed by disputes between leaders in Baghdad and the Kurdish capital of Erbil.

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