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The Legal Dimensions of Oil and Gas in Iraq

Auteur : Rex J. Zedalis
Éditeur : Cambridge University Press Date & Lieu : 2009, Cambridge
Préface : R. Dobie Langenkamp Pages : 335
Traduction : ISBN : 978-0-521-76661-6
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 145x230 mm
Thème : Politique

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
The Legal Dimensions of Oil and Gas in Iraq

The Legal Dimensions of Oil and Gas in Iraq: Current Reality and Future Prospects

This book is the first and only comprehensive examination of current and future legal principles designed to govern oil and gas activity in Iraq. This study provides a thorough-going review of every conceivable angle on Iraqi oil and gas law, from relevant provisions of the Iraqi Constitution of 2005; to legislative measures comprising the oil and gas framework law, the revenuesharing law, and the laws to reconstitute the Iraq National Oil Company and reorganize the Ministry of Oil; to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s 2007 Oil and Gas Law No. (22) and its accompanying Model Production Sharing Contract; and to the apposite rules of international law distilled from both controlling UN resolutions addressing Iraq and more generally applicable principles of international law. This text is essential to the reading collection of every practitioner, business executive, government official, academic, public policy maven, and individual citizen with an interest in the details and controversial aspects of Iraqi energy law.


As any lawyer knows, the law is not only illusive but transitory. To define it at one point-in-time is to attempt to put a living thing under the lens. This is particularly so with law in Iraq, a country not only in turmoil and transition, but in formation; a country poised between autarchy and democracy, between dictatorship and the rule of law. Despite the troop “surge,” sectarian violence continues and the viability of the Iraqi Central Government itself is not assured when U.S. troops finally depart. Some in government seek to right the wrongs to their brand of the faith over the last decades; others attempt to regain prewar dominance; yet another group seeks to establish an Iranian-style theocracy. Many want only to attain personal wealth in this turbulent era.

Into this maelstrom steps Professor Rex J. Zedalis to detail and discuss the developing oil and gas law of this troubled nation. Rather than decry or be intimidated by this volatile and transitory state of affairs, Zedalis has proceeded to outline the current state of the oil and gas law in Iraq and its various possible futures with a perceptiveness and thoroughness that is admirable if not astounding.

The author faces another unique challenge. For more than a year, the Iraqi framework oil and gas law, thought to be a hard-won consensus between factions, has languished unadopted, yet unrejected. The end of this legal purgatory into which this law was cast in February 2007 cannot be predicted. Furthermore, the current state of the statute can only be partially relied upon to indicate the state of Iraqi oil and gas law in the future. Although it is clear that this pending statute contains many elements that will eventually find their way into the law that is settled upon, it is also clear that some will not. It is also known that sentiment for a substantial change in the Iraqi Constitution itself is not insignificant.

Since February 2007, the political middle ground seems to have shifted a bit, making it likely that the now-pending framework law will be changed. Word on the street, as it were, for the past 18 months is that there is a grand compromise brewing. During this period of stalemate on the framework law, much has occurred. The Kurds have signed more than two dozen production-sharing contracts, and the Central Government has declared them to be unlawful. At the same time, the Central Government has unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate technical service agreements with major international oil companies (IOCs), but has entered tentative service agreements only with the Chinese and the Indians. The Status of Forces Agreement with the United States has been reached, setting forth a deadline for withdrawal. This withdrawal, and the end of the UN resolutions supporting U.S. presence, will usher in another new era in Iraq. Basra now seems to be seeking status as a region on par with the KRG. Sectarian violence seems to have subsided only to remain barely below the surface...

R. Dobie Langenkamp
Former Professor of Law and Director
National Energy Law and Policy Institute
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary
U.S. Department of Energy
Consultant to the U.S. Department of
Energy on Iraqi Energy Law
December 2008

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