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Iraqi, Kurdish Officials Meet to Draft Energy Law, Lawmaker Says

Iraq’s Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi and the natural resources minister of the country’s self-ruling Kurdish region are meeting today to start drafting an energy law to regulate the industry, a lawmaker said.

Al-Luaibi is joining Ashti Hawrami, the Kurdish region’s resources minister, at the parliament in central Baghdad today, together with the legislative body’s committees for oil and gas and legal affairs, Qassem Mohammad said in a telephone interview.

They’ll discuss various options, including three different draft laws, said Mohammad, who serves on the oil and gas committee. “They will start the process that will help reach a new version, which will take into consideration everyone’s views in order to regulate this huge wealth which makes up more than 95 percent of Iraq’s revenue,” he said.

Iraq’s federal government and Kurdish authorities have been at loggerheads over oil sales and contract terms with Exxon Mobil Corp., Total SA and other international companies that have defied officials in Baghdad and struck deals with the Kurds. The two sides have failed to agree on a national energy law after six years of effort. They reached an accord earlier this month for the resumption of crude exports from the Kurdish region, and Hawrami said Sept. 18 that parliament may approve the energy law by the end of the year.

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