Just days after American company Hunt Oil agreed a deal to explore in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, the deal has run into trouble.
At the weekend, the Dallas oil company, with its close White House ties, became the largest U.S. energy company to explore for oil in Iraq since the war began.
But the agreement is illegal according to Iraq’s oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani.
announced this weekend between U.S.-based Hunt Oil Co. and the self-ruled Kurdish administration of northern Iraq to explore for oil is illegal
“Any oil deal has no standing as far as the government of Iraq is concerned,” al-Shahristani said as he arrived for an OPEC meeting in Vienna. “All these contracts have to be approved by the Federal Authority before they are legal. This (contract) was not presented for approval. It has no standing.”
Those comments underscore the central government’s view that exploration contracts with foreign companies should be signed only after the adoption of Iraq’s controversial oil law, which has still to be passed.