Agreement on Key Iraq Oil Law Hits the Skids

Sectarian schism again undermines top political objective
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 1:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Agreements forged in February over a law regulating the distribution of revenue from Iraq's oil fields are dissolving, the New York Times reports. Hussain al-Shahristani, oil minister for the Shiite-controlled federal government, held meetings yesterday to try to save the compromise, but the northern Kurdish areas have already made deals based on their preferred version of the law.

Those provinces have already signed an oil-exploration contract with a Dallas oil company, an agreement Shahristani says is illegal: "This … lack of cooperation makes people wonder if they are going to be working within the framework of the federal law." The disagreements come as the US is increasingly looking to the Iraqi government for signs of progress towards reconciliation.