Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday signed a series of ground-breaking agreements with the Korean National Oil Company (KNOC). These finalize a set of earlier preliminary agreements under which KNOC will be granted rights to explore and drill on several sites in the Kurdistan Region in exchange for valuable support on a range of infrastructure projects.
Prime Minister Barzani said, "This is an exceptional agreement which serves the needs of the people of the Kurdistan Region in the areas of power, sewage and water treatment and other infrastructure elements. We are finding ways to put our valuable natural resources directly to work for the good of the people, and this is the strongest obligation of our government."
Under the agreement's initial stage, KNOC will support power plant construction and sewage and water treatment facilities worth 600 million US dollars. In later stages, once certain conditions are met, the value of the projects will increase by another 1.5 billion dollars.
Speaking on the overall oil and gas situation in Iraq, the Prime Minister said, "This agreement is a perfect example of what the rest of Iraq should be doing. We are trying to address the needs of our people, and the federal government in Baghdad should be doing the same thing. Oil is a gift to all the peoples of Iraq, not just its leadership, and it is time to begin putting this gift to work for all the people of the country.
Prime Minister Barzani added, "I again call on the federal government in Baghdad to move ahead rapidly in completing, as required in the Constitution, the previously drafted oil law which provides for equity, fairness, transparency, and a modern approach to development of our national resources.
"We are grateful to our Korean friends for their support and friendship, and for working with us to fashion an agreement which meets the needs of all involved. We look forward to implementing this agreement, and to deepening the friendship and economic cooperation which has developed between the people of the Kurdistan Region and Korea."