Iraq demands U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil abide by constitution
By Agence France-Presse
Monday, January 21, 2013 9:52 EST
Iraq’s premier Monday called on ExxonMobil to respect the country’s constitution in rare talks with the US firm’s chief, an apparent reference to a deal with the Kurdish region Baghdad says is illegal.
Nuri al-Maliki also appeared to once again rule out production-sharing deals that Exxon has signed with Kurdistan, arguing that Iraq’s substantial oil reserves “belong to all Iraqis,” an oft-cited phrase in Iraq’s constitution that central government officials see as justifying per-barrel service fees.
The meeting was the first between Maliki and Exxon chief Rex Tillerson since the firm signed an agreement in October 2011 for oil exploration with Kurdistan, angering the central government in Baghdad, which regards deals signed without the expressed approval of the federal oil ministry as illegal.
“Iraqis are partners in the oil that is discovered in any part of Iraq, they can not be partners in Basra and not partners in other areas”, Maliki said, according to a statement from his office, referring to Iraq’s southern oil-rich province.
unhappycamper comment: It appears we are finally in the end game for Operation Iraqi Liberation.