Punishment for Dealing with Kurds: Baghdad to Replace Exxon with Russians
Baghdad has been angry with certain international oil companies, namely ExxonMobil, Total, and Chevron, for their dealings with Kurdistan. The oil companies have signed oil deals in the northern region which the main Iraqi government states are illegal.
Exxon are already working in Iraq where they are developing the huge West Qurna-1 oil field, but now, as punishment for their ventures in the north it is rumoured that Baghdad is looking to replace them with Russian companies.
The weekly energy newsletter, Nefte Compass, has reported that plans are in motion to replace Exxon with LUKOIL and Gazprom Neft, both of whom are already working in Iraq on the West Querna-2 site.
Related Article: Iraq's Oil Exports Hide Broader Problems
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was due to raise the issue with President Vladimir Putin in their official meeting on Wednesday, however no public statements along such lines were made after.
President Putin did call for more Russian companies to strengthen their position in Iraq, although a spokesman for LUKOIL stated that the company is happy with its current portfolio in Iraq and has no intentions of making any new acquisitions.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com