Iraq To Allow Private Sector To Import Oil Products

Morning Star, July 10 – Iraq is to pass a new law that for the first time allows the private sector to import oil products, Iraq’s Oil Minister Hussein al- Shahristani said Sunday, in a bid to overcome a chronic shortage in the country.

"The Iraqi government has approved a law allowing the private sector to import oil products," Shahristani told a news conference he held in Baghdad.

He said the draft law has been submitted to the Iraqi parliament for approval.

He gave no details about the new law.

Iraq has been suffering from an acute shortage of fuel since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 due to pipeline sabotage and aging refineries.

Iraqi oil officials also said the shortage is due to problems with the government’s import program and an increase in the number of imported cars.

Iraq, which sits on the second-largest world oil reserves after Saudi Arabia, is currently importing around $200 million worth of oil products every month.