Iraq's Oil Bind

Musings On Iraq checks in on the country's chief resource:

Things are far from settled...with Iraq’s oil. The Oil Minister remains under attack from parliament, members of his own ministry, and the Kurds. Oil exports continue to fluctuate up and down. There are major problems with the Ministry’s accounting and metering systems, as well as corruption. Iraq has also failed to pass a new petroleum law. Because there is so much excess crude and other reserves right now, companies may not be as eager to invest in Iraq as before. All of these factors mean that new oil deals are more important to Iraq than to the oil conglomerates, so the Oil Ministry has to carefully construct its policy to appease both a strong nationalist trend in Iraq that is weary of foreign exploitation, and appeals to those same companies. This is something that the Ministry has been largely incapable of performing so far.