By John Lee.
Oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi [Elaibi] (pictured) told Reuters on Wednesday that Baghdad signed a deal with BP "about 10 days ago" to revive the northern Kirkuk oilfield.
The agreement allows BP to negotiate access to significant reserves in the north in return for helping Baghdad arrest a huge decline in output from the field.
The Kurdistan Regional Government has already rejected the plan as illegal. A spokesman from the KRG's Ministry of Natural Resources said:
"No company will be permitted to work in any part of the disputed territories including Kirkuk without formal approval and involvement of the KRG."
The Kurdish KAR Group is developing a formation under the control of the KRG.