Iraqi Kurdistan Negotiating With International Companies to Operate Oil Fields

by Colonel on January 30, 2013

“Iraqi Kurdistan said it is negotiating with two or three major international companies to operate oilfields and expects to announce the outcome in about a month, in a move likely to further heighten tensions with Baghdad.

The remarks by Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami on Tuesday highlight the autonomous region’s resolve to push ahead with development of its oil resources independently of the Baghdad-based central government.

Kurdistan has upset the central government by signing deals directly with oil majors such as Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil, providing lucrative production-sharing contracts and better operating conditions than in the south of the country.

Last week Hawrami said Kurdistan, which is in the north of Iraq and has run its own administration and armed forces since 1991, had awarded Chevron a stake in the Qara Dagh oil block.

” — (Reporting by Julia Payne and Simon Falush; editing by Jason Neely and Anthony Barker), Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters

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