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 Iraqi Kurdistan president's office denies Exxon has dropped it's deal

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Iraqi Kurdistan president's office denies Exxon has dropped it's deal  19.3.2012 

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Fuad Hussein, Kurdistan President's chief of staff.
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March 19, 2012

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — The Head of the Kurdistan Presidential Office announced Saturday that Exxon Mobil is still working in northern Iraq, contradicting the Iraqi Oil Minister who claimed on Friday the oil giant had frozen its Kurdish projects.

Iraq's Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said on Friday that Baghdad had received a letter from Exxon on March 5 "saying they are freezing their contract with the Kurds".

However Fuad Hussein, head of the office of Massoud Barzani, said: "Exxon has not mention 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.

Kurdistan regional government signed an agreement on October 18, 2011, with Exxon Mobil to explore oil and gas in six regions.

The Iraqi government, who considers independent contracts with Kurdistan to be illegal,
www.ekurd.net consequently excluded the company from participating in the fourth licensing rounds.

The Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussein al-Shahristani also gave Exxon Mobil an ultimatum: drop their projects in Kurdistan or lose their West Qurna-1 contract to develop 370,000 barrels per day in Basra.

Exxon Mobil was the first major oil company to enter Kurdistan Region when it signed an agreement.
Exxon has not made any comment.

By Rebin hassan

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