Iraq's central government on Sunday approved Kurdish plans to export crude from two oil fields through the national pipeline to Turkey.Î¾ Iraq's oil minister says the Kurds' controversial oil deals with western companies are still considered "illegal and illegitimate."Î¾ Hussain al-Shahristani told state television that oil extracted by these companies will be collected and marketed by the Iraqi Oil Ministry, and all revenues will be sent into the federal accounts.Î¾ The Greater Houston Partnership hosted Qubad Talabani from the Kurdistan Regional Government at a business opportunities luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel.Î¾ Talabani was a key Kurdish negotiator during the drafting of the transitional administrative law — Iraq's first post-Saddam constitution.Î¾
"There is a part of Iraq called the Kurdistan region that is a thriving and developing part of the country.Î¾ It is booming economically.Î¾ The financial crisis has not hit Kurdistan, so that the pace of development is still going in the right direction.Î¾ And I'm here to educate Texans — in particular the businesses based in Houston — to look at opportunities available in Kurdistan."Î¾Î¾
Since 2003, the Kurds have signed nearly two dozen oil production-sharing deals without consulting with the central government.Î¾ In 2008, Houston was Iraq's largest U.S. trading partner, with some $7.6 billion in trade.Î¾ Iraq was Houston's ninth-largest trading partner worldwide and second-largest trading partner in the Middle East.Î¾
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.
For more information, visit the Kurdistan Regional GovernmentÎ¾website.