.. for Big Oil. Latest news from Gulf Daily News:
A policy committee hammering out a draft oil law for Iraq now has only one key issue left to resolve and the legislation should be enacted by year-end, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih said yesterday.So the only question remaining is whether US pawns at the local or national level get the loot from Big Oil contracts.
He also said that projections of a doubling by 2010 of Iraqi oil exports, now at 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd), and of output to 6m bpd from 2.3m bpd were "conservative figures" in his view.
Oil revenues are critical to the economy of Iraq, which sits on the world's third largest crude reserves.
Salih said the way they were distributed in the country would spell the difference between a united country or its violent break-up.
The committee, which he expected to meet again in a couple of weeks, still had to agree on crucial provisions governing whether development contracts with oil companies could be signed at regional or national level.
Salih chairs a government committee on oil and energy policy composed of key ministers which had struggled to overcome deep differences on a new law to replace provisions dating from Saddam Hussein's rule.
But he said a three-day "retreat" at his residence in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone six weeks ago had overcome four of the five critical issues.