In a statement published from the Prime Minister’s office, it has been revealed that a US official has advised the international oil companies to co-operate with the central government of Iraq before opting for the oil and gas deals with the autonomous government of Kurdistan.
Baghdad has always been firm with the fact that it has all the rights for oil export, but Kurdish government has gone ahead and signed deals with international oil companies like Chevron and Exxon Mobil. So, the central government has stamped the whole thing as illegal.
Another statement from the office of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s office has revealed that the United States has taken it up to itself top remind all the companies to talk and resolved things and fulfill formalities with the central government before opting for any deal or contract regarding oil and gas with any other authority.
This statement has details about the meeting between US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Elizabeth Jones and Iraqi Prime Minister.
A State Department spokesperson of US has said that Washington knows that any US firm working anywhere in the world has its own rights for making any decision, but as this matter concerns Iraq, the government has provided certain advises.
The same spokesperson has also added that the US government has already informed and it will continue to do so to all the US companies regarding any deals of oil exploration and production in the lands of Iraq that does not have the approval of the central government of Iraq, because that can eventually create a lot of legal risks for the company.
The oil exported by Kurdistan is only a little part of the total oil export of Iraq but the money it earns has created this long lasting dispute and conflict between the central government powered by Iraqi Arabs and the Kurds regarding the points like land, autonomy and oil and this dispute can destroy or complicate the condition of the already unstable federal union.
According to a statement made by Maliki, US president Barack Obama has supported the concerns and resound of Baghdad regarding the oil deal between Kurdistan and Exxon Mobil in a letter, but the White House has refused to comment on this statement.
Kurdistan which has been autonomous from 1991 has its armed forces and it functions like a government, but it has to depend on the central government for its share in the oil revenues from the national budget.