Iraqi officials are near agreement on a national oil law that would give the central government the power to distribute current and future oil revenues to the provinces or regions, based on their population, Iraqi and American officials say. . . .

The national oil law lies at the heart of debates about the future of Iraq, particularly the issue of a strong central government versus robust regional governments. The oil question has also inflamed ethnic and sectarian tensions. Sunni Arabs, who preside over areas of the country that apparently have little or no oil, are adamant about the equitable distribution of oil revenues by the central government.

As Hillary Clinton and I have been saying, this should have been done three years ago when the idea was first floated. But better late than never, I suppose.

UPDATE: More on the oil-trust idea from Mohammed at Iraq the Model.