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Securing the Peace: The Battle over Ethnicity and Energy in Modern Iraq

Published on: December 2009​
Genre: Comparative Middle East Politics​ Category: Research Report/ Research Paper/ White Paper​
This paper examines the legal and political impediments to the Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) exploration and production contracts, which the central government in Baghdad has refused to recognize. The newly established Iraqi national constitution significantly opened as many petroleum-control questions as it resolved. Negotiated in 2005, the constitution not only separated branches of government, but established Federalism as its lodestar. When faced with unresolved issues over regional and national control over petroleum resources, however, International Oil Companies (IOCs) function in an ambiguous legal environment that fails to clearly distinguish between federal and regional powers. This paper’s central proposition is that Article 112(1) of the Constitution should be clarified to grant the federal government oversight of all oil and gas fields, whether present or future, whether producing or nonproducing, under a Federal Oil and Gas Council (FOGC) – as stated in Art. 5(c) of the Draft Hydrocarbon Law.

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