The Prime Minister of Iraq, Nuri al-Maliki has warned that a contract between Exxon Mobil and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is dangerous and could potentially lead to a breakdown of the unity of Iraq and a destabilisation of the region.
The Iraqi central government has long been insistent that all contracts for oil and gas activities in Iraq must be directed through the Baghdad government, not the KRG. However, in response to tough contracts imposed by Baghdad, companies are finding themselves increasingly drawn to dealing directly with the KRG. Exxon Mobil's recent signing of a contract with the KRG saw the company blocked from participating in the recent Fourth oil and gas bidding round hosted by Baghdad.
Prime Minister al-Maliki recently sent a letter to Barack Obama asking him to stop the deal between Exxon Mobil and the KRG. Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman said, “We’ve received the letter but are going to decline comment until we respond to Prime Minister Maliki.”
A spokesman for al-Maliki was quoted as saying, “Maliki views these deals as representing a very dangerous initiative that may lead to the outbreak of wars [and] the breaking up of the unity of Iraq.”
“Maliki is prepared to go to the highest levels for the sake of preserving the national wealth and the necessary transparency in investing the wealth of the Iraqis, especially oil.”
Edited from various sources by David Bizley