Iraq: Oil and Gas Legislation, Revenue Sharing, and U.S. Policy [Updated January 18, 2008] [open pdf - 355KB]
"Iraqi leaders continue to debate a package of hydrocarbon sector and revenue sharing legislation that would define the terms for the future management and development of the country's significant oil and natural gas resources. The package includes an oil and gas sector framework law and three supporting laws that would outline revenue sharing, restructure Iraq's Ministry of Oil, and create an Iraqi National Oil Company. Both the Bush Administration and Congress consider the passage of oil and gas sector framework and revenue sharing legislation as important benchmarks that would indicate the current Iraqi government's commitment to promoting political reconciliation and long term economic development in Iraq. […] The current military strategy employed by U.S. forces in Iraq seeks to create a secure environment in which Iraqis can resolve core political differences. However, it remains to be seen whether the package of hydrocarbon legislation under consideration will promote reconciliation or contribute to deeper political tension. Administration policymakers and Members of Congress thus face difficult choices with regard to encouraging consideration of new hydrocarbon legislation and related constitutional reforms while attempting to ensure that the content of proposed laws and amendments reflects compromises reached by and acceptable to Iraqis. This report reviews the package of legislation currently under consideration, analyzes the positions of various Iraqi political actors, and discusses potential implications for U.S. foreign policy goals in Iraq."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34064