Exxon risks West Qurna on new Kurdistan deals

Exxon Mobil has signed six exploration deals with Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, testing Baghdad's blacklist rule.
Exxon Mobil executives and then-Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani (right) at the Jan. 25, 2010, signing ceremony for the West Qurna 1 field. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

ERBIL - Exxon Mobil has signed six monumental deals with Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), effectively risking its 2.825 million barrel per day (bpd) West Qurna 1 project in southern Iraq's Basra province if Baghdad upholds its blacklist on companies that contract with the KRG.

The production sharing contracts, signed in October, are a major coup for the semi-autonomous northern region that is stuck in a five-year dispute with the central government over the right to ink oil deals.

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