25 November 2019
Dynasty Company for Oil & Gas Trading Limited (Dynasty Petroleum) was established by the Kurdish owners of two Kurdish conglomerates (South Kurdistan Group, and Tigris Holding). Dynasty began negotiations with Spanish oil giant Repsol to acquire some of its Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) assets consisting of Repsol’s outstanding share capital of Talisman (Block K39) B.V. and Talisman (Block K44) B.V. through a standard sales and purchase agreement (SPA).
According to the KRG’s (Iraq’s Kurdistan region) Production Sharing Contract’s (PSC) own Article 39.7, the approval for Repsol’s was a mere routine. According to the terms of the PSC, a change of control consent cannot unreasonably be withheld or delayed by the government.
 The former Minister of Natural Resources, Abdullah Abdul Rahman Abdullah (commonly known as Ashti Hawrami) who is recently ‘designated’ as Assistant Prime Minister for Energy Affairs in Prime Minister Masrour Barzani’s new government, demanded bribe for the approval of the purchase of Dynasty.
Dynasty refused to pay the bribe and filed a US$1.6 billion lawsuit against Hawrami on 14 August at the U.K. Royal Courts of Justice and alleging, among others: ‘Conspiracy to injure Dynasty by unlawful means’, ‘Unlawful interference’, and ‘Unlawful intimidation’.
Hawrami would not have boldly demanded a bribe unless he had tacit approval of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani as well as the rest of the cabinet. Probably they all will share the loot.
Intimidation also came from Qubad Talabani, the Deputy Prime Minister of the KRG from June 2014, and member of the Regional Council for Oil and Gas Affairs of the Kurdistan Region. He is alleged to have called Hiwa Awat Ali, executive chairman of Dynasty, and said that if he did not cancel the SPA with Repsol then ‘they’ (implying the KRG and Hawrami) would not let Ali set foot in Kurdistan again.
In October, Hawrami was personally served at London’s Heathrow Airport with a ‘Claim Form’, ‘Particulars of Claims’, and a ‘Response Pack’. Hawrami acknowledged the Service to Court’ documents. This implies that Hawrami will now need to participate in the U.K. High Court process. According to the legal experts spoken to by OilPrice.com, one of the tactics Hawrami is likely to use to delay these legal proceedings is to file for a ‘change of jurisdiction’ away from ‘the independent judiciary of London and towards somewhere that will be more favourable to him and KRG.
Yahoo finance reported.