Fiscal Federalism and Petroleum Resources in Iraq
With over 95% of Iraq’s government budget received from oil revenues, an agreeable inter-governmental framework for managing petroleum resources and for distributing revenues is aptly regarded as the lynchpin of federalism. Iraq has great potential to develop a fiscal framework, consistent with sound principles and best practices, that will distribute revenues equitably and efficiently, decentralize resource management where appropriate, and bind the country together as a stable federation. As in most resource-rich countries, Iraq’s petroleum deposits are unevenly spread and deposits differ in productive capacity, cost of extraction and processing, and quality of crude. Moreover, Iraq’s petroleum infrastructure requires extensive repair and reinvestment in order to maximize its production potential. Furthermore, large areas of Iraq remain unexplored, particularly Iraqi Kurdistan and the Western Desert, and preliminary assessments point to large potential reserves.
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