BP's Rumaila contract could face veto in Baghdad

Senior lawmaker claims Iraq parliament could block recent contract

The super giant Rumaila oilfield in Iraq. (Getty Images)
The super giant Rumaila oilfield in Iraq. (Getty Images)

 

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The massive production contract for the Rumaila oilfield in Iraq, that was recently awarded to a BP-led consortium, could still be blocked by the country’s parliament despite reports to the contrary by the Oil Ministry.

A senior government official made the claims to news agency Reuters that the agreement could still be vetoed by senior lawmakers in Baghdad.

"The government believes that such a subject is included in its authorities, according to existing law, but if parliament finds these contracts or this [bidding] round ... are not beneficial, parliament can prevent the government," parliament speaker Ayad al-Samarai said in comments published by Reuters.

"Parliament can stop the government and its decision would be binding," he added.

The comments come after the controversial live television auction at the end of June that resulted in the super giant Rumaila field being awarded to the consortium that is led by BP and includes the China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNPC).

The absence of an oil law in the Iraq is also proving problematic for the Oil Ministry. Without the law, claims that parliament could veto any contract award could cause delays in Iraq exploiting it’s massive oil and gas reserves.

 

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