Exxon confirms Iraqi oil deal

Feb. 28, 2012 at 6:14 AM
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HOUSTON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. supermajor Exxon Mobil revealed it landed oil exploration and production contracts with leaders in Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region last year.

Exxon, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said it has a five-year exploration deal and a 20-year production agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government.

"Exploration and production activities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq are governed by production sharing contracts negotiated with the regional government of Kurdistan in 2011," the filing was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as reading.

Baghdad has expressed frustration with energy deals between the KRG and international companies like Exxon.

In May, Iraq is expected to put around a dozen oil and natural gas blocks up for auction in its fourth licensing round. Exxon was blacklisted, however, because of contracts with the Kurdish administration.

Iraq has yet to pass comprehensive legislation that would regulate the energy sector. Baghdad says unilateral deals with the KRG are illegal.

The International Energy Agency has warned political instability in post-war Iraq could spill over to the energy sector.

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