Arbil sees no obstacles in contract with Exxon
ARBIL - Reuters
Hawrami, the oil and gas minister of the Kurdistan Regional Governmentsays he is confident about ties with Exxon.Exxon Mobil Corp’s deal with the semi-autonomous administation in northern Iraq to develop six exploration blocks is on track and there are no obstacles to it proceeding, acording to the region’s Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami.
The U.S. company became the first oil major to move into the northern Kurdish region in mid-October when it signed an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The Iraqi oil ministry then said the deal was illegal and could result in termination of Exxon’s contract to develop the major West Qurna Phase One oilfield in the south.
Iraqi officials later said they were considering sanctions, although they have since remained largely silent on the issue.
“The deal was signed on October 18. It is binding and everybody is working towards that. It’s normal, just like any other contract we have with any other company,” Hawrami told Reuters on Jan. 12 in an interview in Arbil.
“In the field of exploration, there is a lot of work to be done in the planning and preparation and so on. It only happened very recently so it is early days,” he said. “There is nothing standing in the way of this.”
Exxon has not commented publicly on the agreement and Iraqi oil officials say the company has not responded to their requests for an explanation.