The controversial Iraqi oil law seems to be in real trouble. Tariq Shafiq, who runs a petroleum consulting firm in London and offered his advice to the Iraqi government, has said that “there is no sign of a compromise” that would lead to final approval by the parliament.

Shafiq blamed the holdup on a lack of security in Iraq, where he said “people do not know if they are going to live the next day”, as well as on corruption.

Under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, we are now in a worse situation than a year ago,” he said at a news conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

“A compromise must be found” to balance regional interests with the responsibility of the federal government to be the “custodian” of the country’s resources, Shafiq said.

Last week, oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said, “We hope the ratification of this law will be achieved in no more than one month from now”.

If my memory serves me right, that’s what he said about three months ago.