Global Policy Forum

Iraqis Make Statement Against Oil Theft


By Iraqi Oil Professionals

After Downing Street
November 26, 2007

To The Speaker and Members of Iraqi Parliament

Assalamu Alaykum

During the last few weeks, the region of Iraqi Kurdistan announced on its website and through media that they had signed nearly 15 production sharing agreements with foreign companies without the prior approval of the Ministry of Oil or awaiting the approval of a federal oil law.

Dr. Shahrastani, Minister of Oil has correctly declared on a number of occasions that the Ministry consider all those agreements as illegal and threatened that the Ministry will take legal action against those companies as well as putting them in a black list depriving them from participation in any future contracts with the Oil Ministry. The Oil & Gas parliamentarian committee adopted a similar position which is certainly the correct stance that must be supported by all political and popular groups regardless of their other politics to stand united against this deliberate and dangerous action by the KRG.

On another hand, the KRG actions were not only limited to a policy of signing such contracts but in fact followed a more dangerous step that has no legal or political standing whatsoever and that is by overstepping on the rights of other components of the Iraqi people when it awarded in some of those contracts blocks that extend well beyond the boundaries of Iraqi Kurdistan towards Ninewa, Tamim, Salah el-Deen and Diyala including the one with the US Hunt Oil. KRG also decided unilaterally to give one of its newly founded oil companies the responsibility of developing Khurmala which is one of the three domes of Kirkuk field. Two years ago, SCOP of the Oil Ministry had recently completed the engineering & procurement of all related materials and equipment and was about to start construction activities but were not allowed to do so by KRG.

The Iraqi oil professionals, who had previously warned in their previous letters and declarations in February and July 2007 of the danger of dividing the responsibility of negotiations and signing of oil contracts and had asked for it to remain exclusively for the Ministry and Iraq National Oil Company, they now consider the steps by KRG as illegal. It was also obvious that the signing of so many contracts within only few weeks indicate that KRG had continued negotiations with foreign companies even while discussing the draft oil law and regardless of the opinions and reservations of the other political blocks and popular organizations.

The deliberate action by the authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan and without any due considerations of other views and objections, proves clearly that the position taken by the Iraqi oil professionals previously was a correct one and they would like to confirm their stance and declare their support for the stance taken by the Minister of Oil and the Oil & Gas parliamentarian committee in rejecting those contracts. They also hope that the legislating bodies will also take into considerations the vital comments made by the oil professionals on the various drafts of the oil law and ask them to rewrite it in such a way that it guarantees the national rights of the Iraqi people and not to rush into legislating the said law.

Signatories: 60 Iraqi oil professionals

CC: Dr. Hussein Shahrastani; Minister of Oil

Head of the Parliamentarian Oil & Gas Committee

Among the signatories:

Issam Chalabi & Kassim A.Taqi former oil ministers Tariq Shafiq & Farouk Kassim two of the three experts who wrote the first draft oil law

M.Jiboury (Former minister of Trade & head of SOMO). Dhia Bakka (Head of SOMO) Saadallah Fathi ( Director of OPEC Studies & Advisor to Minister), AbdelAmir Anbari ( Advisor )

Former heads of oil organisations and Director Generals: Karim Shamma, Sabah Juma,M. Obaidi, Faleh Khayyatt, Rajih Yousif,Tariq Omar,M. Jibour, Mahmood Bashi, Namir Mufti, Fouad Kadhimi, Arfan Zeki, Sharif Muhsin, Mehdi Hnoosh, Ali Ijam,Ghasan Hadban, Abdall Khairi, Nouri Al-Ani, N.Hadithi, Yas Janaby, Kahtan Anbaki,Husam Kashmoola, Hazim Sultan Oil Experts; Mohammed Zaini, Sabri Kadhim, Sabah Awni, Fouad Al-Amir, Majid Shreidah, Mahboob Chalabi, Tariq Irhaiyam, Iqdam Derzi, Kamil Adhadh, Kamil Mehaidi, Talal Rassam, Ghassan A.Rassim

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