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Made through the state's oil company

Made through the state's oil company

"I'm optimistic," Faily said in an interview with the Chronicle. "People are not coming in saying, 'These are my red lines.' People are saying, 'We need to find a solution in the very near future.' "

But Faily reiterated Baghdad's position that all oil sales should be made through the state's oil company, arguing that deals brokered outside of official channels - like the tanker of Kurdish crude that arrived near Galveston more than three months ago - undermine the country's unity.

The J.W. McLean oil drill rig, operated by Transocean, was anchored in the Cromarty Firth in August 2014. On Friday, the Swiss drilling contractor said its drilling machines are now worth billions of dollars less.

"If we let one part of Iraq have their own policy … oil will not be a stabilizing factor for the economy and for the stability of Iraq," he said. "Oil should be the gel which will help us in defining a common vision and a common approach."

Appointed to the position a year ago, Faily traveled to Houston for the first time this week as part of an ongoing mission to bolster ties with the city. During the three-day trip, he met with companies that do business in the Middle East, including oil and gas firms.

A years-long dispute between Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government over oil landed ina Houston courtroom when a tanker carrying 1 million barrels of crude pumped from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq arrived off the coast of Galveston in late July.

Iraq said the oil was smuggled out of the country through a pipeline that bypasses the ministry of oil and sued to stop the cargo from being offloaded in the United States.

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