by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Nov 16, 2011
Iraq is studying its options regarding a dispute with US oil giant ExxonMobil, which has signed a contract with Iraqi Kurdistan against Baghdad's wishes, an oil ministry official said on Wednesday.
"The government is studying different options," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
One option would be to ask Exxon to suspend the Kurdistan deal, the official said, but the government is also "examining penalties that could be imposed against the company."
On October 18, Kurdistan inked a deal with ExxonMobil for it to explore six areas, according to Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan's minister of natural resources.
But the oil ministry official said two of those areas -- Al-Qosh and Bardarash -- are actually parts of Nineveh province that Kurdistan wants to annex into its autonomous region, a move Baghdad opposes.
Baghdad regards any contracts not signed with the central government as invalid.
"The government believes that oil is the wealth of all Iraqis, and if the ministry does not have control over contracts, each province could decide to sign a contract, and this will destroy the unity of Iraq and lead to the division of the country," the official said.
The office of Hussein al-Shahristani, Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy, said Saturday "the Iraqi government will deal with any company that breaks the laws in the same way that it has in (the) past, and ExxonMobil has been notified of this."
In the past, Iraq has banned oil companies that have signed contracts in Kurdistan from taking part in tenders or contracts for other fields.
In January 2010, Iraq's oil ministry completed the deal with ExxonMobil and Anglo-Dutch giant Shell to develop production at West Qurna-1, which with reserves of about 8.5 billion barrels is the country's second-biggest field.
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Nebraska welcomes new pipeline route
Chicago (AFP) Nov 15, 2011
Nebraska's governor on Tuesday welcomed a controversial US-Canada pipeline now that it will be rerouted away from the state's sensitive wetlands, but environmentalists vowed to keep up the fight. Governor Dave Heinenman said he hoped the Keystone XL pipeline project could move forward as quickly as possible and disagrees with "environmental leftists groups that oppose the pipeline no matter ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|