The Iraqi judiciary orders the Kurdistan region to hand over all of its oil production to Baghdad
The decision remains threatened not to be implemented in light of a years-old dispute between the two parties
(AFP) Wednesday 16 February 2022 6:23
The region's oil exports have been a subject of frequent controversy over the past years (AFP)
On Tuesday, the Supreme Federal Court of Iraq, the highest judicial authority in the country, issued an order obligating the Kurdistan Regional Government to hand over all oil produced on its lands to the central government.
The court's decision remains threatened not to be implemented in light of a dispute dating back years over oil resources between the federal government and the Kurdistan region, which includes three provinces and has been autonomous since 1991.
And the court's decision stated, "obligating the regional government to hand over all oil production from the oil fields in the Kurdistan region (...) to the federal government represented by the Federal Ministry of Oil."
The ruling, which was published on the court's website, also included "obligating the Kurdistan Regional Government to enable the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the Federal Financial Supervision Bureau to review all oil contracts concluded with the Kurdistan Regional Government regarding the export and sale of oil and gas."
Iraq's exports, which is the second largest oil exporter in the Organization of "OPEC", amount to about 3.5 million barrels per day, and its financial imports represent 90 percent of the country's budget.
The Kurdistan region had pledged to deliver 250 thousand barrels of its daily production, which exceeds 400 thousand barrels, to the central government through the Ministry of Oil, in exchange for receiving the salaries of Kurdish officials and Peshmerga fighters, the armed forces of the region.
The region's oil exports have been the subject of frequent controversy over the past years, with Baghdad demanding that all of the country's oil exports be subject to the supervision of the Central Government's Oil Ministry.
The Iraqi authorities have repeatedly criticized Turkey for allowing the region's oil to be delivered and refining in 2012 and for allowing the region's oil to be exported to global markets in 2014.
In a move that escalated the differences between Baghdad and Erbil, the Kurdistan region organized a referendum on independence from the rest of Iraq in 2017.
This raised fears of an armed conflict between the two sides at that time.