Further to the rumours that Exxon Mobil plans to abandon it's contract at West Qurna-1 in favour of pursuing exploration deals in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has issued the following statement:
"In a meeting with President Masoud Barzani in Washington DC this week, the CEO of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson [pictured] stated that Exxon Mobil will continue its operations in the Kurdistan Region.
"The oil major signed a contract with the KRG last year to explore six fields in Kurdistan. Mr. Tillerson said Exxon Mobil is committed to the contracts that it has signed with both the Iraq government and with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)."
This appears to contradict a recent statement from the Iraqi Ministry for Oil, in which it has claimed to have received a second letter from Exxon in which it says it has “frozen” its contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Iraq Business News sources in the southern oil province of Basra say they are astonished that Exxon appears to be putting priority on its operations in the Kurdish North of the country.
According to a report from Reuters, Shell, Exxon's partner at West Qurna-1, backed out of a joint deal with Exxon and the KRG at the last minute, for fear of angering the administration in Baghdad.