Iraq’s government will start making payments to international oil companies working in the northern Kurdish region next week, said Ashti Hawrami, natural resources minister in the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Exxon Mobil Corp. is honoring its oil exploration contracts in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, the Kurdish minister for natural resources said in disputing a report from Iraq’s government.
Iraq’s Kurdish region will resume sending crude to Turkey by truck in about a week and is in talks with international companies to develop oil fields, even as the country’s central government branded such deals illegal.
Iraq’s Kurdish region may be able to gain more autonomy and increase crude exports after taking control of territory around the nation’s fourth-largest oil field, analysts from Saxo Bank A/S and JBC Energy GmbH said.
The Iraqi government will pay foreign oil companies producing in the country’s northern Kurdish region under a deal reached to resume crude exports from the area, Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said.
A tanker containing a million barrels of crude oil is floating around the Mediterranean, and its cargo is available at half-price. Any country seizing the bargain is helping Iraq’s Kurds to win greater independence.