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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