25 July 2012
Iraqi Oil Ministry has refused to sign any further oil agreements with the U.S. oil company Chevron in response to a purchase of shares in two oil concessions in the territory of the Kurdish autonomy by the company, Al-Jazeera TV channel reported on Wednesday.
The ministry said that the central government can begin to cooperate with the company only if Chevron refuses to accept oil concessions in that territory.
Chevron announced the purchase of an 80 per cent stake in the oil concessions of the Ruphi and Sarat Kurdish autonomy on July 19.
Relations between the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq and Baghdad deteriorated in October 2011 after US-based Exxon Mobil received permission from the Kurdish authorities over the exploration and production of oil in this Iraqi region. Baghdad considered the deal illegal and warned the company that if it did not abandon the agreement with the Kurds, its dealings with the central Iraqi government may be revised.
According to BP, Iraq's proven oil reserves amounted to 143.1 billion barrels as of late 2011.
The country ranks third in OPEC after Saudi Arabia and Iran. According to BP, oil production in Iraq amounted to 2.798 million barrels per day in late 2011.
The Kurdish administration in northern Iraq has oil reserves of 45 billion barrels.