The Status of the Draft Iraq Oil and Gas Law

26 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2011

See all articles by Susan L. Sakmar

Susan L. Sakmar

University of San Francisco - School of Law

Date Written: 2008


Iraq’s proven oil reserves are enormous and rank second only to those of Saudi Arabia. Given the vast reserves Iraq possesses, it is widely expected that Iraq’s oil industry will be the driver of Iraq’s reconstruction and future economy in the aftermath of the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Draft Iraq Oil and Gas Law itself provides that “revenues from Oil and Gas represent the most important basis for redeveloping the country in general and the Iraqi economy.” This stated objective is perhaps the most important reason why the United States has been pushing for the Iraqi political structure to pass the Draft Hydrocarbon Law.

Although the Iraqi Cabinet approved the Draft Hydrocarbon Law in February 2007, disagreement over various provisions and among various parties has prevented the Iraqi Parliament from approving the law. This Article analyzes the main provisions of the Iraq Draft Hydrocarbon law and highlights the issues that must be resolved in order for the Iraqi government to pass the Draft Hydrocarbon Law. The Article provides critical insight into Iraq’s oil and gas reserves, the background of Iraq’s Draft Hydrocarbon Law, and the main issues of contention including foreign participation in Iraq’s energy sector and revenue sharing.

Keywords: Iraq, Oil, Gas, Draft Iraq Oil and Gas Law, Draft Hydrocarbon Law, Energy Sector, Revenue Sharing

Suggested Citation

Sakmar, Susan L., The Status of the Draft Iraq Oil and Gas Law (2008). Houston Journal of International Law, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2008, Univ. of San Francisco Law Research Paper, Available at SSRN:

Susan L. Sakmar (Contact Author)

University of San Francisco - School of Law ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States
4152724691 (Phone)

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