Q&A: Ashti Hawrami

The Minister of Natural Resources for the Kurdistan region of Iraq talks about the ExxonMobil deal, prospects for the oil law, and refining policies.
Ashti Hawrami, the Kurdish minister of natural resources, in his office. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

ERBIL - The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) made international headlines late last week when it confirmed ExxonMobil signed production sharing contracts for six exploration blocks, marking the first foray of a super-major into Iraq's semi-autonomous northern region.

Ashti Hawrami, the KRG's Minister of Natural Resources since 2006, says he's looking beyond that. He's in constant talks with Exxon's colleagues for the few remaining unsigned blocks. And he's keen on seeing bigger companies come into the projects currently operated by smaller oil firms.

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