Norsk oljeselskap under lupen i Irak

Det norske oljeboringsselskapet DNO startet tidligere denne uken med en svært kontroversiell oljeleting i den kurdiske delen av Irak skriver L.A Times. Den omstridte avtalen ble inngått med lokale kurdiske myndigheter uten at den Irakiske regjering fikk vite om det før boringen startet nå på tirsdag.

L.A Times skriver: A controversial oil exploration deal between Iraq's autonomy-minded Kurds and a Norwegian company got underway this week without the approval of the central government here, raising a potentially explosive issue at a time of heightened ethnic and sectarian tensions.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party, which controls a portion of the semiautonomous Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq, last year quietly signed a deal with Norway's DNO to drill for oil near the border city of Zakho. Iraqi and company officials describe the agreement as the first involving new exploration in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Drilling began after a ceremony Tuesday, during which Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdish northern region, vowed "there is no way Kurdistan would accept that the central government will control our resources," according to news agency reports.

In Baghdad, political leaders on Wednesday reacted to the deal with astonishment. "We need to figure out if this is allowed in the constitution," said Adnan Ali Kadhimi, an advisor to Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari. "Nobody has mentioned it. It has not come up among the government ministers' council. It has not been on their agenda."


Denne omstridte avtalen mellom DNO og lokale kurdiske myndigheter strider også etter all sansynlighet mot den irakiske grunnloven. L.A Times skriver videre: Iraq's draft constitution, approved in an Oct. 15 national referendum, stipulates that "the federal government with the producing regional and governorate governments shall together formulate" energy policy. However, it also makes ambiguous reference to providing compensation for "damaged regions that were unjustly deprived by the former regime."

Helge Eide i DNO forsvarer avtalen med disse ordene til avisa: ...he believed Iraq's new constitution gave the Kurdish north jurisdiction over certain drilling and oil exploration activities.

Det hadde kanskje vært en fordel om DNO og Eide ikke bare "trodde" at grunnloven ga rom for slike avtaler, men faktisk sjekket det med sentrale myndigheter først.

Til Aftenposten sier Eide dette: Grunnloven åpner for nettopp denne typen aktivitet som vi arbeider med. Det står veldig klart at alle avtaler som kurdere har inngått helt tilbake til 1992 skal være gyldige. Vår avtale er fra juni 2004. Det forholder vi oss til

Det skal bli spennende å følge med på utviklingen i denne saken her i tiden fremover...

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