ERBIL — The first round of talks between Erbil and Baghdad to address their oil disputes was “positive”, said an official from Iraq’s Oil Ministry.
A senior delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) visited the Iraqi capital last week where they began the first round of negotiations since the controversial ruling by Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court against KRG’s oil industry.
Director of Economy Department at the Iraqi Oil Ministry, Hisham Yas, told Kurdistan 24 that his ministry is responsible for the technicality of the issues and the legal and political aspects of the disputes will not be discussed during the meetings.
“We only discuss the technical issues related to the contracts, transportation, exports, and revenues,” Yas said. “The basis for our negotiations is cooperation, not provocation or political accusation.”
The statement came a day after Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar also expressed optimism for the negotiations, saying his ministry sees 80% of the oil contracts between the KRG and international companies as legitimate and flawless, while only 20% might need revision and amendments.
He further explained that the political blocs should keep distance from the oil dossier because “oil might be a political good, but it cannot be managed with politics.”
According to the minister, Baghdad has put forward three requests, including revision of oil contracts based on the law, establishment of a new oil company under the control of Iraq to manage Kurdistan’s oil sector, and brining development of oil sector as well as oil pricing under the control of the federal government.