Turkey’s State Oil joins with ExxonMobil to Develop Oil Projects in Kurdistan

PNA- 15.5.2013 – Turkey’s state-run oil firm has struck an agreement with U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. to develop joint projects in Kurdistan Region , the country’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.Mr. Erdogan also said that Turkey can pursue separate arrangements with the Erbil-based Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG.

“Our oil company already has an agreement with Exxon Mobil in place … This is a step with the KRG on exploration work,” Erdogan told reporters at Ankara airport before heading to the United States for an official visit. He is due to meet U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday. The prime minister’s statements, just before leaving for the U.S. to meet with President Barack Obama, contrast sharply with a carefully-honed policy in Ankara. Turkish officials have consistently called for the territorial integrity of Iraq and reiterated that they won’t pursue any deals that would undermine the country’s stability.

The Iraqi central government in Baghdad has long opposed the KRG’s agreements with oil companies and plans for oil exports to Turkey. Exxon, a global oil company based in Texas, was the first to sign up for exploration deals with the KRG. Others including Chevron, Total and Russia’s Gazprom Neft have followed.