Oil regulation—Iraq—Q&A guide

The following Energy practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Oil regulation—Iraq—Q&A guide
  • 1. Describe, in general terms, the key commercial aspects of the oil sector in your country.
  • 2. What percentage of your country’s energy needs is covered, directly or indirectly, by oil or gas as opposed to nuclear or non-conventional sources? What percentage of the petroleum product needs of your country is supplied with domestic production?
  • 3. Does your country have an overarching policy regarding oil-related activities or a general energy policy?
  • 4. Is there an official, publicly available register for licences and licensees? Is there a register setting out oilfield ownership or operatorship, etc?
  • 5. Describe the general legal system in your country.
  • 6. Describe the key laws and regulations that make up the principal legal framework regulating oil and gas activities.
  • 7. Are there any legislative provisions that allow for expropriation of a licensee’s interest and, if so, under what conditions?
  • 8. May the government revoke or amend a licensee’s interest?
  • 9. Identify and describe the government regulatory and oversight bodies principally responsible for regulating oil exploration and production activities in your country. What sanctions for breach may be imposed by the regulatory and oversight bodies?
  • More...

Oil regulation—Iraq—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to oil regulation in Iraq published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: June 2021).

Authors: DWF LLP—Slava Kiryushin

1. Describe, in general terms, the key commercial aspects of the oil sector in your country.

The development of Iraq's oil industry began in the aftermath of World War I, while the country was occupied by Britain under the League of Nations mandate. Prior to World War I, the territory of Iraq was a part of the Ottoman Empire and comprised of three provinces: Mosul in the north; Baghdad in the centre; and Basra in the south. The newly created country united three separate administrative areas with different religious and ethnic elements: Mosul was Kurdish and Sunni, Baghdad was Sunni but Arab and Basra was Arab but Shi'a. This factor played an important role in the development of the Iraqi oil industry.

In 1923, the first oil field, Naft Khana, was discovered in Iraq. In 1925, the British-installed ruler of Iraq, King Faisal, entered into a concession agreement with the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC – formerly known as the Turkish Petroleum Company), a consortium of British, French and (later) American companies. Combined with two further concessions granted in the 1930s, the IPC obtained rights to all hydrocarbons in the entire country

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