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The Iraqi Federal Supreme Court on Ownership and Control of Oil in the Kurdistan Region: Decision in Cases No. 69/2012 and 110/2019 of 15 February 2022

In: Arab Law Quarterly
Author:
Kilian Bälz Amereller Rechtsanwälte PmbB — Mena Associates Berlin and Cairo, Spreeufer 5, 10178 Berlin Germany

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Abstract

In February 2022, the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court (FSC) issued a decision concerning the (controversial) question of whether the Iraqi Kurdistan Region may independently export oil and enter into agreements with international oil companies for the exploration and production of oil in this region. The issue has been in dispute many years between the Iraqi Federal Government and Kurdistan Region, which has the status of a ‘federal region’ under the 2005 Iraqi Constitution. The FSC confirmed the position of the Federal Government that the production of oil in entire Iraq is under the control of the Federal Government and dismissed the Kurdistan Regional Government’s line of argument that all fields developed in the Kurdistan Region after 2005 are subject to Kurdish control. The FSC declared the Kurdistan Oil and Gas Law (2007) unconstitutional, putting the validity of oil contracts between the Kurdistan Regional Government and international oil companies into question.

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