Confusion Surrounds Exxon Iraq Decision

Reuters reported at the weekend that Iraq's government has received a letter from Exxon Mobil saying the it had frozen its deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), but other reports say this has not happened.

"We received a letter from Exxon on March 5 saying they are freezing the contract with the Kurds," oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi [Elaibi] told the news agency Reuters.

He added that the Iraqi government had not yet reversed its intention to exclude Exxon Mobil from its next oil bidding round, but said "maybe in a few days" Baghdad could change its position if Exxon clarified its decision.

However Fuad Hussein, head of the office of Kurdistan President Massoud al-Barzani, said: "Exxon has not mentioned anything like this yet and Exxon has not frozen its contract with Kurdistan region."

Exxon is still working in Kurdistan region and Exxon senior executives never mentioned such thing in our meetings, he added.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said earlier this month that the company was committed to both exploring in Kurdistan, as well as to expanding its West Qurna output in southern Iraq.

(Sources: Reuters, AKnews)

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