Iraq talks tough with Exxon

As negotiations with Exxon begin, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani said the Iraqi government won't condone contracts signed with Kurdistan.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani, then Oil Minister at the Jan. 25, 2010, signing ceremony for West Qurna 1 with executives from ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government is maintaining a hard stance against ExxonMobil even as the two sides have begun talks to resolve a dispute over the company's controversial contracts with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson at the tail end of his trip to Washington, DC, according to Deputy Prime Minster for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani. The negotiations have apparently only just begun.

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