Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — An Iraqi Kurdish minister
on Sunday sought to allay the Baghdad government's
concerns about an oil exploration deal his region
signed with Exxon Mobil, saying it benefits the
Iraq's central government regards any oil contracts
not signed with it as invalid, and officials have
said the deal the US energy giant agreed with
Kurdistan last month jeopardises its contract for a
massive southern oil field.
"I think that Exxon Mobil's entry to Kurdistan is
not just good news for the Kurdistan region, it's
good news for all of Iraq, because they bring in
more investment into Iraq, into this part of Iraq,"
Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan's minister of natural
resources, said at a conference in Erbil.
The contract "was signed, completed on the 18th of
October 2011, after the oil and gas council of the
region, headed by the prime minister, met and
approved a package for ExxonMobil," said Hawrami.
"It is a binding contract; it involves six
exploration areas," he said,
Ashti Hawrami, Iraqi Kurdistan's natural resources
minister, Erbil, Kurdistan region of Iraq. Photo: