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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat

Iraqi Federal Court Deems Kurdish Oil and Gas Law Unconstitutional

Iraqi technicians at work on oil fields. (AFP)

Iraq's federal court on Tuesday deemed an oil and gas law regulating the oil industry in Iraqi Kurdistan unconstitutional, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The Kurdish regional government (KRG) has been developing oil and gas resources independently of the federal government, and in 2007 enacted its own law that established the directives by which the region would administer these resources.

KRG crude is exported through a pipeline that runs from Iraq's Kirkuk region to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Tuesday's court decision stated that the Kurdish government in Erbil must hand over all crude from the KRG and neighboring areas to the federal government, represented by the oil ministry in Baghdad.

The ruling declared KRG oil contracts with oil companies, foreign parties and states invalid. This includes exploration, extraction, export and sale agreements, according to the document.

The ruling also stated that the oil ministry must be allowed to audit all agreements concluded by the KRG with oil and gas companies.

The KRG continues to export crude through Ceyhan, a shipping source told Reuters.

Buyers of KRG crude expect loadings to continue.

The KRG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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