ExxonMobil has reportedly asked the Iraqi central government to give it a few more days to decide whether or not it will cancel an exploration deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Baghdad has asked the U.S. giant to choose between the KRG deal and the existing contract with central-government to develop the 370,000 barrels-a-day West Qurna 1 field, which has proven reserves of 8.7 billion barrels.
In the meantime, Exxon has been excluded from Iraq's fourth oil-and-gas licensing auction, scheduled for May. Exxon has also reportedly been barred from a contract worth up to $10 billion to build a joint water-injection project in southern Iraq.
"[Exxon] has asked the Deputy Prime Minister to give it some more days in order to decide its stance on the contract it signed with Kurdistan," Faisal Abdullah, a spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry, told Dow Jones Newswires.
The Iraqi government has sent Exxon three letters asking it to choose between between the deals.
"The central government is waiting for Exxon to respond to our letters and on the light of Exxon's response, Baghdad would take a decision," Abdullah said.
(Source: Dow Jones)