Sunday, 4 March 2007

Iraq and Oil

As Iraq's Oil Agreement goes through the process of ratification in Iraq, one wonders who will benefit the most. Certainly, the centralisation of income and equitable distribution to all parties in Iraq is essential for any sort of chance for peace in the future.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Ambassador to Iraq writes in the Washington Post today:

The law defines a role for the Oil Ministry that is primarily regulatory, which is the modern standard and which will also harness the market to achieve the optimal development of Iraq's resources. It provides the legal framework to enable international investment in Iraq's oil and gas sectors, a break from the statist and overcentralized practices of the past (my italics). It also requires best practices in environmental protection and field management and development, ensuring that the environment is not damaged and that hydrocarbon assets are not wasted by poor practices of the past.

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