Exxon Mobil signs Kurdish deal

Iraq’s Kurdish region has signed an exploration deal with Exxon Mobil, a Kurdish official said last night, confirming a deal Iraq has said could jeopardise the US oil giant’s southern oilfield contract. Natural resources minister Ashti Hawrami said the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) signed a contract with Exxon in mid-October for six exploration blocks in the semi-autonomous region. Iraq’s central government has said Baghdad would consider a deal between Exxon and the KRG illegal and a violation of the company’s contract to develop Iraq’s 8.7bn-barrel West Qurna Phase One oilfield.