Iraq's Oil Ministry announced that all contracts signed by the Kurdish regional government (KRG) are null and void and warned the foreign companies dealing with the regional administration of being blacklisted from any future deals by the Iraqi government, a ministry official said on Saturday.
"The government has nullified all the oil contracts signed by the KRG without approval of the Iraqi oil ministry," the official said on condition of anonymity.
The KRG in northern Iraq had signed 15 exploration and exportation contracts with foreign oil companies since it passed its own oil law in August, despite the central government's objection and ahead of the Iraqi parliament's final endorsement of the vital oil and gas law.
"In addition to nullifying the contracts, the government also warned that those companies will be blacklisted from any future deals with the Iraqi central government," the source said.
In an interview with Monte Carlo Radio on Friday, Iraq's oil minister Hussein al-Shahrestani said that his ministry is the only institution authorized to sign contracts with oil companies with the absence of the new oil law, adding that any contract outside this framework is "illegal."
For its part, the KRG has the contracts are "constitutional and legal within the framework of the Kurdistan oil and gas law."
Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Kasım 2007, 16:38