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View Diary: Krugman Bombshell - Bush Oil Buddy Cuts Deal with Kurds (328 comments)

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  •  Here is an article that discusses legality (8+ / 0-)

    further The Hunt Oil Dispute and the Future of Iraqi Federalism.

    Thus, under the Constitution, the KRG seems to have the better legal argument respecting its deal with Hunt Oil, which was signed, it should be noted, after the KRG passed its own oil and gas law. Baghdad appears to have no exclusive sovereignty over the exploration of new fields. Moreover, the question of appropriate revenue distribution under the Constitution is not at issue because the KRG's oil and gas law requires national distribution of any revenues received, and the KRG has pledged to adhere to this in connection with the Hunt Oil deal.

    Yet while the oil minister hardly seems to be in a very strong legal position to block the deal, surely the KRG's response to his claims, which are that the minister should tend to his own affairs and deal with the substantial problems inherent in the oil industry outside of Kurdistan, is hardly legally defensible as well. If these resources are truly the property of the Iraqi people, and oil policy is decided in connection with the national government, then surely some form of oversight, monitoring or at least extensive detailed consultation with the national government is necessary. How else is the national government to know what oil is part of the "existing fields", whether the figures respecting barrels sold are accurate, along which pipelines the oil is sent, and so forth. Even the terms of the deal have not been disclosed publicly, information that would be vital to setting oil policy.

    To date, the parties have not engaged in meaningful dialogue of any kind on these matters, at least in public. This writing so far as I know is the only one that even begins to touch on the legal issues in any depth. The oil minister and the KRG have made clear their differing views on the legality of the deal, without providing the basis for their positions. And the dispute has not yet involved the Sunni Arabs who are neither in government nor in the Kurdish region in large numbers and who are therefore likely to be even more opposed to the oil deal, let alone any future oil deal signed by a potential Shi'i region. This is hardly an encouraging start to the development of the industry.

    It's always because we love that we are rebellious; it takes a great deal of love to give a damn ~Kenneth Patchen~

    by cosmic debris on Fri Sep 14, 2007 at 08:30:30 AM PDT

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