White House: Iraq's Hydrocarbon Law Won't Nationalize Oil

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 1/14/2007, Location: Middle East

Iraq's pending hydrocarbon law won't create a nationalized energy sector, White House spokesman Tony Snow said Friday, adding that American oil companies are likely to find business opportunities in the country.

President George W. Bush's new Iraq strategy calls for the Iraqi govenrment to reach an agreement on the hydrocarbon law, which would govern the distribution of oil and natural gas revenue among the country's ethic groups. The measure is critical as a basis for international energy firms to start discussions on investment in Iraq's run-down hydrocarbon sector, and to generate much-needed reconstruction revenue.

"What it does though is collect at a national level the profits," Snow said.

Asked if that would effectively nationalize Iraq's oil resources, Snow said: "It's no more a nationalized oil industry than the hydrocarbon law in Alaska makes Alaska a fiefdom of petro-socialism."

He said the international compact on Iraq, an initiative designed to open the door for increased foreign investment and assistance in Iraq, will likely give U.S. oil companies a chance to invest in Iraq.

"I suspect there's going to be opportunity," He said. "Part of the Iraq compact is finding bidding on business in Iraq from around the world. I don't have a clear answer for that."


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