Exxon still quiet on Kurdish deals

Exxon declined to report its KRG deals in a quarterly filing, but disclosure rules could require the company to break its silence in February.
Rick Vierbuchen (R), then president of ExxonMobil Upstream Ventures, shakes hands with Abdul Mahdy al-Ameedi, the director general of the Oil Ministry's Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD), after signing an initial deal for the West Qurna 1 field on Nov. 5, 2009. (MOHAMMED AMEEN/Reuters)

When ExxonMobil Vice President for Investor Relations David Rosenthal briefed analysts on Tuesday about the company's 2011 year-end earnings, the first question asked was about the super major's contracts with Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) – a telling sign of the global intrigue surrounding the deals.

"I don't have any comments to make today on Kurdistan," Rosenthal said. He then gave an optimistic assessment of Exxon's massive oil development project in southern Iraq's Basra province, which Iraqi officials have said is in jeopardy because Baghdad views the KRG deals as illegal.

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