Iraqi PM: Exxon reconsidering KRG contracts
Al-Maliki claims Exxon re-thinking controversial Kurdish PSAs
Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, says Exxon has promised to reconsider the contracts it signed in November with the Kurdish Regional Government.
"They promised to reconsider their decision," Maliki told AFP on Thursday, after a meeting in Washington D.C. with Exxon executives. The Iraqi delegation was in the US capital for meetings with the US President Barack Obama, as American combat forces leave Iraq after a military campaign beginning with the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The news that Exxon had signed six production sharing agreements (PSAs) with the KRG prompted angry rebukes from Baghdad, which regards such contracts as illegal. It is not yet clear what Baghdad intends, or has legal authority, to do.
The KRG has not yet published the Exxon PSAs as it has done with others previously signed with foreign oil companies.
The status of oil deals in the Kurdish region is tied to deep-rooted, and how Baghdad deals with Exxon will have profound implications for the oil industry both within the Kurdish region and other provinces seeking greater autonomy from the centralizing efforts of Maliki and his Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Sharistani.