Kurdish involvement in forming the new Iraqi government (MEES, 14 October) came with a clear demand: The status of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s independent oil sector must be resolved once and for all. Ambiguity over the sector has been an ever-present source of instability, and a ruling earlier this year by Iraq’s Supreme Court that it is unconstitutional plunged it into a crisis (MEES, 18 February).
New Iraqi PM Mohammed al-Sudani has promised to deliver a new national oil and gas law within six months which will regulate oil affairs between Baghdad and Erbil (MEES, 7 October). Kurdish officials are optimistic over the government’s commitment, but whether it can be pushed through parliament is another matter. The draft law originally drawn up in 2007 has been in limbo for 15 years. (CONTINUED - 2141 WORDS)