Iraq’s controversial draft oil law has undergone substantial changes that threaten the interests of the northern Kurdish region, a senior Kurdish official has said.

Ashti Horami, minister for natural resources in the autonomous administration in the northern Kurdish region, said a key change pertained to new oil exploration contracts.

“The most significant change is that they have added a clause that says that oil exploration contracts would be decided by the central government,” Horami has been quoted by wire reports as saying. “We do not know how they did these modifications but the changes would reduce the prerogatives of Kurdistan.”

Mahmud Othman, a Kurd and a lawmaker in Iraq’s embattled parliament has said that the Kurdish political bloc would “vote against the law if such changes are incorporated in the bill.”

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  • Note that Oil Change staff have been working for days to get a clear idea of exactly what it is in the latest version. We have heard conflicting reports, although it seems clear that the annexes are gone. There was an arabic version published two days ago in a Baghdad daily, however we’ve heard that there has been at least one change since then.

    Note also that the Kurdish government generally favors greater investment by international oil companies, (as a way of minimizing the power of Baghdad) while most other actors in Iraq do not.

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