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Sunday Morning Iraq Economic News Highlights 8-27-23

Kdp: Passing The Oil And Gas Law Is More Difficult Than The Budget

08/27/2023   2010  KDP: Earth News / A member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Wafaa Muhammad, confirmed today, Sunday, that passing the oil and gas law is more difficult than the budget.

Muhammad told Earth News Agency, “Passing the oil and gas law is one of the most difficult laws and more difficult than the budget law due to the large number of complex technical matters and internal and regional political interference, but it is one of the points agreed upon by the political parties.”

He added, “It is now in the final touches to write a draft law between the government, the region and the oil-producing provinces,” stressing that “there are political parties trying to obstruct this law for commercial and political motives and in favor of a regional state.”

“Political Differences, Not Technical Ones.” The Oil And Gas Law Is Waiting For A Fair Birth According To Decentralization

Reports   Economy News-Baghdad  Despite the passage of more than two decades since the fall of the former Iraqi regime in 2003, the most important law pertaining to the structure of the Iraqi economy, which is the oil and gas law, did not actually see the light, and the concerned parties, whether the federal government, the Kurdistan Regional Government, or the oil-producing provinces, did not reach an agreement. Final agreement.

Consultations and meetings between these parties are still ongoing, and the formed committees hold their meetings periodically, in addition to involving the leaders of the political blocs to take their opinion in this regard, but the period has taken a long time, despite the confirmation of official bodies on the need for in-depth consultations, especially since this law determines the fate of 95% of the budget And from the Iraqi economy, which depends mainly on oil production.

The US State Department called on the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to sit at the negotiating table to reach a mutually acceptable solution to the oil issue and to avoid taking steps that fuel tensions.

Iraq’s Oil and Gas Law, which has been awaiting legislation in parliament since 2005, states that responsibility for managing the country’s oil fields should be vested in a national oil company, and supervised by a federal council specialized in the matter.

Points of contention are political, not technical.

In this regard, a member of the Parliamentary Oil Committee, Bassem Al-Gharibawi, believes that the differences over the law are “political”, while technical matters are “agreed upon” by the concerned parties.

Bassem Al-Gharibawi told Rudaw Media Network, “A higher governmental committee has been formed to present the findings of the sub-committees regarding the oil and gas law.

Basem Al-Gharibawi explains, “The Prime Minister, Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani, during his recent meetings, involved the leaders of the political blocs in order to mobilize towards the legislation of the law and absorb the problems that may arise,” noting that “the subcommittees have resumed their meetings and negotiations again and are discussing the paragraphs of the law.”

A member of the Parliamentary Oil Committee believes that “the points of disagreement over the oil and gas law are political, while the technical points are agreed upon,” noting that “the points have gone since the previous period and discussions have not taken place from Article 5 to Article 13 related to the issue of the Federal Oil Council, its powers and establishment, and who represents this The council is from the provinces and the Kurdistan region, and the powers of the center and oil management, which have disputes.

Earlier, the Iraqi Prime Minister, Muhammad Shia al-Sudani, agreed with the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, to resolve differences and outstanding issues, including the files of the financial budget for the year 2023, and the oil and gas law, but the law is still a matter of controversy after talking about preparation. For a new version of it after the dispute over its passage in light of the divergence of political opinions.

Keeping the central idea away from the oil and gas law

For his part, a member of the Parliamentary Oil Committee, Sabah Sobhi, told Rudaw Media Network, “There are deep discussions about this sensitive and fateful law, and for this reason it takes necessary time in order to reach fair and balanced law legislation that is compatible with the requirements of the current circumstances, as well as with the constitutional rules that exist in Articles 111 and 112”, believing that “there is no delay in these discussions, but rather that this time is necessary in order to enact the law in an equitable manner.”

Sabah Sobhi adds, “It is assumed that there will be other times for discussions, because the more times increase, the opportunities increase in order to reach a tight law regarding the fate of the country, especially since 95% of the country’s imports depend on oil, and all existing sources depend on the main source, which is oil. Any defect in this law causes problems and leads to the collapse of the country’s economy,” describing the oil and gas law as “restructuring the Iraqi economy.”

A member of the Parliamentary Oil Committee, he points out that “the draft law has been issued since 2007, but it was not approved in the Iraqi parliament, although it is the only project issued by the will of the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and it turned into a project in 2011 by the federal government, because the Kurdistan Region owns special law.”

Sabah Sobhi points out that “Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani presented last October his ministerial curriculum, and one of the paragraphs of his curriculum was to legislate the oil and gas law, and therefore it became a necessity,” adding that “we must have a wide scope in order to study this project, We, as deputies in the Iraqi parliament, are looking forward to having a draft agreed upon by all political parties, and there must be many discussions at the leadership level.

Sabah Sobhi explains, “The draft law must be written together with all relevant parties, such as the federal government with the Kurdistan Regional Government with the oil-producing governorates. The central idea of the law, and there must be conviction that the federal system necessitates that there be powers for the Kurdistan Region with regard to oil exploration and extraction, and the oil-producing provinces must also have a say.

“We look forward to the idea based on political decentralization represented by federalism in the Iraqi constitution with administrative decentralization represented in the oil-producing provinces, which establishes the draft law to include the aspirations of all these parties,” according to MP Sabah Sobhi.

It is scheduled that there will be an expected visit of a delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government to Baghdad to contribute to the maturation of the oil and gas law with the aim of legislating it under the dome of the Iraqi Parliament.

A negotiating delegation that includes the oil-producing governorates

In the same context, economist Mazen Al-Ashiger believes, in his statement to the Rudaw media network, that “the matter in terms of the strategy of engaging in such negotiations is that Iraq is one country, not two, so a national law should be enacted to determine the responsibility of the federal government and the governments of the provinces and regions.”

The economist adds, “The oil and gas law must be fair to all, and therefore it is necessary to involve a negotiating delegation from the provinces that produce or have reserves of oil and gas, including Basra, Kirkuk, Anbar, Erbil, Maysan, and Nineveh, for the purpose of issuing a draft oil and gas law that is submitted to the Iraqi parliament for discussion.” revise and vote on it.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani had directed in early August to form a ministerial committee to supervise the technical dialogues between the Federal Ministry of Oil and the Ministry of Natural Resources in the Kurdistan Region, as well as inviting the governors of the oil-producing provinces, each of Basra, Maysan, Kirkuk and Dhi Qar, and the directors The two years of government oil companies for the ongoing technical dialogues regarding the draft oil and gas law, provided that these dialogues are followed by the completion of the political dialogue to agree to present the draft law.

Source / rudawarbia website  Views 56  08/27/2023

Expectations Of A Rise In The Exchange Rate To New Levels.. Huge Budget Sums Will Devour The Dollar From The Market

Baghdad today – Baghdad  Today, Saturday (August 26, 2023), the expert in economic affairs, Hammam Al-Shamma, expected that the dollar prices would record a new rise with the start of budget projects, while he confirmed that the rise does not affect commodity prices in the local markets only, but also major service projects.

Al-Shammaa told “Baghdad Today” that “the rise in the exchange rate of the dollar and the fluctuation of its prices is not limited to the local market and raising the prices of foodstuffs and commodities only, but also extends its impact on the implementation of service and strategic projects,” noting that “economic instability has many consequences.” “.

He added, “We expect that with the start of implementing large service projects in Iraq after the budget enters into force, there will be a new rise in the exchange rates of the dollar, as exchange operations in the market and demand and supply operations will have an impact on the rise again, and this may appear during the next few days.” .

The difference in the price of the dollar between the official and the parallel against the Iraqi dinar is still 200 points, while experts expect that the large liquidity of the Iraqi dinar, after the launch of the budget amounting to more than 198 trillion dinars, will raise the demand for buying the dollar and thus raise the price of the dollar to new levels.

Experts summarize the reason for the dollar’s rise in the parallel market, with a demand to finance trade with countries to which the Central Bank does not provide financial transfers of dollars at the official rate, due to the ban on sending dollars to them by the US Federal Bank.  LINK

It May Lead To Civil War.” An Analysis Warns Of The Repercussions Of The Continuation Of The Oil Dispute Between Baghdad And Ankara

Posted On2023-08-27 By Sotaliraq   An analysis published by the American magazine “Foreign Policy” warned of the dangers of the continuation of the oil dispute between Iraq and Turkey, and the possibility that its repercussions could lead to a civil war in the Kurdistan region, whose repercussions would extend to all parts of the country.

Turkey stopped Iraqi oil flows through the pipeline extending to the port of Ceyhan on March 25, after an ICC arbitration panel ordered Ankara to pay Baghdad compensation of approximately $1.5 billion for damages resulting from the illegal export of oil by the Kurdistan Regional Government between 2014 and 2018.

The analysis believes that the economic, political and legal repercussions of this oil dispute are escalating, with millions of barrels of oil remaining stuck in the ports.

He adds that the pipeline transported about 10 percent of total Iraqi exports, which is equivalent to 0.5 percent of global production.

Turkey’s suspension of exports, among other reasons, has pushed global oil prices above $70 a barrel.

Moreover, oil export revenues represent about 80 percent of the KRG’s annual budget, which means that it faces great risks if exports continue to stop, according to the analysis.

The analysis indicates that the Turkish oil embargo has so far cost the Kurdistan Regional Government more than two billion dollars, indicating that its continuation could destroy the region’s economy and may lead to the collapse of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.

For many years, the KRG’s economy has been suffering as a result of disagreements with the federal government regarding the region’s share of the budget.

And in the event that the dispute with Ankara remains unresolved, the analysis warns that this may lead to a large wave of migration of tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds to Europe.

Also, the financial repercussions and large budget deficits in both the Kurdistan Regional Government and Baghdad could lead to a state of catastrophic instability in the region, something that armed groups such as ISIS could exploit, which could lead to further destabilization,” he said. analysis.

The analysis also indicated that the continuation of the conflict threatens “the collapse of US investments in Iraq, the economic destabilization of the Iraqi federal government, and perhaps the rush of Russia and Iran to fill the geopolitical vacuum.”

This deadlock, according to the analysis, has led IOCs in Iraq to cut investments by $400 million, lay off hundreds of workers, and threaten legal action.

As the crisis continues, the analysis says, Iraq’s reputation among investors will suffer increasingly.

As a result of all this, the analysis believes that Erbil’s continued loss of billions of dollars and the possibility of the collapse of the regional government may lead to a conflict between the two main parties in Kurdistan (the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union) and eventually turn into an all-out civil war.

The analysis continues that the instability in the Kurdistan region may extend to the rest of Iraq, which is already teetering on the brink of sectarian conflict.

It is also possible that the fall of the “Kurdistan Regional Government” will create a vacuum that “allows Iran to intensify its interference in Iraq and threatens a nationwide civil war,” according to the analysis.

Iraqi Oil Minister Hayan Abdul Ghani visited Ankara this week as he and his Turkish counterpart failed to reach an agreement on resuming oil exports, but the two sides agreed to hold further talks.

The Turkish foreign minister, who arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday, held talks with his Iraqi counterpart on the issue of water and the resumption of oil exports from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey, in addition to the presence of the PKK in Iraq.

The Turkish foreign and energy ministers also met with the president of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government for talks, Thursday, on issues including the region’s oil exports.

There was no indication if an agreement had been reached to resume the flow of crude through Turkey. LINK