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A Critical task closer to completion in Iraq
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, February 27, 2007

That would be the oil revenue sharing agreement:
The Iraqi cabinet approved a draft of a law today that would set guidelines for countrywide distribution of oil revenues and foreign investment in the immense oil industry.

The endorsement marked a major agreement among the country’s ethnic and sectarian political blocs on one of Iraq’s most divisive issues.

The draft law approved by the cabinet allows the central government to distribute oil revenues to the provinces or regions by population, which could lessen the economic concerns of the rebellious Sunni Arabs, who fear being cut out of Iraq’s vast potential oil wealth by the dominant Shiites and Kurds.

The law also grants regional oil companies the power to sign contracts with foreign companies for exploration and development of fields, opening the door for investment by foreign oil companies in a country whose oil reserves rank among the world’s top three in size.
This was one of the 'benchmarks' set by President Bush when he announced the surge. It is critical, as noted in the article, to addressing the economic concerns of the Sunnis in Iraq. They are predominantly located in areas of Iraq which have little oil (although there have been announcements recently of possible oil finds in their areas).
The draft oil law says that all revenues from current and future oil fields will be collected by the central government and redistributed to regional or provincial governments by population, in theory ensuring an equitable distribution of oil. This could help calm Sunni Arabs hostile to Kurdish and Shiite autonomy.
Interestingly most of the delay came not from the formula for sharing revenue, but from disputes about the issue of signing oil contracts. Apparently compromise language has been agreed upon and that is why the draft has been passed out of the cabinet for wider examination by Parliament.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Is this the one for Public Consumption or the REAL one, you know the one that grants BusHitler and Cheney and the Board of Haliburton the rights to 51% of the oil?
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Expect all of the Dems to condemn this action, even those who were for it prior to Bush trying it
Written By: shark
URL: http://

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