Iraqi parliament approves new draft bill to fight oil smuggling

A senior Iraqi lawmaker says parliament has approved a bill to combat oil smuggling. Abdul-Hadi al-Hassani says the measure provides for stiff penalties for oil smugglers ranging from fines to imprisonment and confiscation of boats used for smuggling. To become a law, the measure needs the signature of Iraq's three-member presidential council. Parliament approved the bill Wednesday. Al-Hassani is the deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on oil, gas and natural resources. Iraq sits on the world's third-largest oil reserves, totaling more than 115 billion barrels, but the sector has been hampered by decades of neglect and lack of investment.