New Exxon-Turkey contracts bolster Kurdish export plans

The state-owned Turkish Energy Company now has a 20 percent stake in Exxon's six KRG blocks, giving Turkey a concrete interest in ensuring that oil can be sold by pipeline.
A night view of the rig drilling ExxonMobil's Maseif-1 well at the Pirmam block in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region. (PATRICK OSGOOD/Iraq Oil Report)

ANKARA - This spring, as U.S. diplomats worked to broker a temporary solution to the oil disputes between Iraq's federal government and the autonomous Kurdistan region, the largest American oil company was quietly making a contrasting pitch.

ExxonMobil was in negotiations with the state-owned Turkish Energy Company (TEC), which was keen to take a stake in the super-major's six exploration contracts in Kurdistan. But the talks weren't just about the contracts, according to two people involved in the deal: first, Exxon needed to see Turkey prove its commitment to facilitate Kurdish pipeline exports.

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