Iraq's Kurdistan judicial council defies supreme court over oil law

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(Reuters) -The judicial council of Iraq's Kurdistan said the region's oil law remained in force, rejected a ruling from the federal supreme court that Kurdish authorities should hand over their crude supplies.

Iraq's federal supreme court ruled in February that Kurdistan's law regulating its oil and gas industry was unconstitutional.

"The actions of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in relation to oil and gas operations are in accordance with the Iraqi constitution of 2005. The provisions of the oil and gas law issued by the parliament of the Kurdistan region in 2007 do not violate those of the Iraqi Constitution," Kurdistan's judicial council said in a statement released on Saturday.

The statement said Article 112 of the Iraqi constitution, announced in August 2005, granted the federal government supervision over Kurdistan's oil and gas fields operating at that time, but that fields that started commercial production after that date did not apply to this article.

It also indicated that all oil and gas fields currently operating in the region started commercial production after August 2005.

The KRG has been developing oil and gas resources independently of the federal government, and in 2007 enacted its own law that established the directives by which the region would administer these resources.

(Reporting by Ali Sultan, Moaz Abd-Alaziz and Enas AlashrayWriting by Moaz Abd-AlazizEditing by Mark Potter)