Iraqi Kurdistan Eyes New Oil Deal With Baghdad

With oil prices languishing well below their year-ago levels, officials in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are calling for a new oil revenue-sharing agreement between Baghdad and Erbil. They say drastic measures are needed to reform the economic system in the Kurdish province in northern Iraq, in order to find new sources of non-oil revenue to compensate for the steep fall in oil revenues, which currently represent around 95% of the province’s budget revenues.

Shirku Jodat, Chairman of the Industry, Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the KRG parliament told the London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat this week that since oil revenue at present is the only source of funds to pay for government employee salaries in the province, it is imperative a new agreement is reached with Baghdad to allow the KRG more independence in selling its oil. (CONTINUED - 449 WORDS)