BAGHDAD Nov 16 Iraq will take steps to
end Exxon Mobil's contract with the country after the
U.S. oil giant signed a deal with semi-autonomous Kurdistan to
explore fields there, a senior Iraqi oil official said on
"Exxon has violated the ministry directions and instructions
concerning the companies working in Kurdistan," said Abdul-Mahdy
al-Ameedi, director of the oil ministry's contracts and
"It's a violation of the contract and the law. As a
consequence the oil ministry will take steps to end the
contract. But this operation will need arrangements," he said
without giving further details.
Exxon has a multi-billion dollar contract with Iraq's oil
ministry to develop its 8.7-billion-barrel West Qurna Phase One
oilfield in the south.
Iraq's central government and Kurdistan are in a
long-running dispute over oil and land rights, and Baghdad has
said in the past all oil deals signed with the Kurdistan region
would be considered illegal.
(Reporting by Suadad al-Salhy; writing by Patrick Markey)