Iraq Needs Well-Defined Structure to Protect Foreign Investments: Vice President Tarig Al-Hashimi

Iraq Needs Well-Defined Structure to Protect Foreign Investments: Vice President Tarig Al-Hashimi

Azerbaijan, Baku, 12 March / corr. Trend R. Hafizoglu, A. Badalova/ Iraq needs a federal law on oil and a well-defined structure in order to protect foreign investments, Tarig Al-Hashimi, the vice-president of Iraq said in his exclusive interview with Trend on 12 March.

According to the vice-president, a decision by the Iraqi Oil Ministry to cease cooperation with international oil companies who signed a contract with the Kurd autonomy is not a big problem.

The constitutional mandate and federal law on oil are issues of paramount importance, Al-Hashimi said.

"Oil companies with a good reputation are unwillingly to invest in Iraq not because of disputes between central and regional government of the country, but because of the lack of a well-defined structure of investment or well-defined mechanism to protect foreign investments," the vice-president said.

"A well-defined structure of investment means structured law on oil and impartial justice that can protect the rights and interests of foreign oil companies doing business in Iraq," he said.

According to foreign mass media reports, companies who have signed agreements both with Baghdad and the Kurd government include Arabic Crescent, Canadian Western Oil Sands and Heritage Oil, Indian Reliance Industries and the Austrian company OMV. In December 2007, the Oil Ministry of Iraq broke off a contract with the South Korean company SK Energy who supplied oil to South Korea as a consortium of companies SK Energy and GS Holdings and Korea National Oil Corp approved the project on oil production proposed by the government of the Kurd autonomy which was not coordinated with the federal government.

Ayad Alavi, the ex-premier of Iraq said in his exclusive interview with Trend that the decision by the Oil Ministry of Iraq to cease cooperation with international oil companies who try to work in Kurdistan will lead to further isolation and tension in the country.

According to Alavi, it had already been several years since the country has seen big investments. Iraq planned to produce 3mln barrels of oil per day in 2008, but it has not achieved this volume.

Ayad Alavi also stressed the importance of introducing a new law on oil in Iraq.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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