Iraq Still Considering Exxon Bidding Ban

The Iraqi oil ministry is said to be still considering whether to allow Exxon Mobil to bid in the country's 4th energy licensing auction, lifting a ban that was imposed because of the deal it struck with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

"We are going to discuss this matter in the ministry and, God willing, we will take a decision," oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaiby [Luaibi, Elaibi] told reporters on Thursday.

Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, Hussein al-Shahristani, said last month that Exxon would be banned from taking part in the country's latest licensing round, which is scheduled for May.

Luaibi confirmed an earlier statement that Exxon had sent a written letter to Baghdad on 5th March that it was suspending its operations in the Kurdistan region, but Kurdish officials have denied that Exxon has frozen its work in Kurdistan.

Exxon has so far made no public comments regarding the suspension of its work in Kurdistan.

(Sources: Reuters, Dow Jones)

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