The MP who heads the parliamentary oversight of the Iraqi oil and power sectors discusses the importance of gas development and the state of INOC legislation.
Habat al-Halbusi, chairman of the parliamentary committee on petroleum and energy, at his home in Baghdad in June 2021 (LIZZIE PORTER / Iraq Oil Report)
BAGHDAD – Habat al-Halbusi, chairman of the parliamentary committee on oil and energy, says the strategic direction of the Iraqi energy sector is clear: gas.
“The committee is made up of 23 deputies, some of whom were directors of the oil ministry,” Halbusi said in an interview at his residence in Baghdad. “All, without exception, are in favor of investing in Iraqi gas. All.”
Progress has been slow, however, due to bureaucratic delays and machinations from powerful actors – whom Halbusi declined to name but, he says, want Iraq to remain dependent on Iranian gas and electricity imports.
In addition to overseeing the work of the Ministries of Petroleum and Electricity, members of the Petroleum and Energy Committee were tasked with finalizing long-awaited legislation for the country’s petroleum sector, including a review of the law for the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC). . The new INOC legislation has undergone first readings in parliament, and a finalized draft will be ready for a vote “soon,” said Halbusi.
Halbusi also referred to investments in gas and refineries in Anbar province, which he represents in parliament as a member of the Taqadum (“Progress”) party, led by parliament speaker Mohamed al-Halbusi.
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