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Kurdish gov't lays down oil law in Iraq

Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:36 AM

ERBIL, Iraq, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The semiautonomous Kurdish government in Iraq's north said it's too dangerous to let the central government in Baghdad dictate the oil economy.

The Kurdistan Regional Government issued a statement saying the federal government had spelled out "an illegal and unconstitutional plan" to let BP work in oil fields in the disputed territory in Kirkuk "without consulting and obtaining approval of the other parties to the dispute."

A series of attacks that were said to focus on political parties in Kirkuk this week left dozens of people dead and more than 100 wounded. Control over the oil-rich city is a matter of contention between the Kurdish and central government of Iraq.

"Citizens of Iraq know all too well the dangers of allowing the country's abundant oil and gas resources, and its revenues, to fall under the control of a handful of misguided people in Baghdad," the KRG statement read.

KRG halted pipeline exports of crude oil last month in response to ongoing disputes with Baghdad, which relies heavily on oil for economic sustenance. Some oil has been delivered by truck to Turkey.

The Kurdish government last month said production from the semiautonomous region could add at least $8 billion to the Iraqi treasury.

December exports from Iraq's southern ports declined 172,000 bpd last month to 2.02 million bpd.

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