Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 December 2009
There may be a great deal of controversy and divisive posturing when it comes to the political acceptability in the Iraqi national parliament of the February 15, 2007, oil and gas framework law. And despite the criticism that the current actions of the Ministry of Oil in negotiating certain kinds of oil and gas development agreements on the basis of preexisting, Saddam-era laws evidences a disregard for some of the goals and objectives reflected in that February measure, the Ministry continues to move forward to fulfill its aim of boosting Iraqi oil production as rapidly as is consistent with sound practice, technical feasibility, and productive capacity. Against this backdrop, it is interesting to review the thinking of the federal government on model forms of exploration and production contracts, and the basic terms of production-sharing contracts (PSC) used by the KRG. Oil and gas field service providers and major international oil companies desirous of exploring development opportunities throughout Iraq, as well as those who study the contractual legal structure of resource-rich countries that host overseas extractive operations, would find such a review more than worthwhile. In that connection, it should be observed that, although the KRG has made its standard form of model PSC publicly available, indications are that at the time of this writing, the authorities in Baghdad continue to work on finalizing the precise structure and wording of their own model forms of exploration and production contracts.