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Iraq’s oil minister: contracts should be done through central government

Iraq’s oil minister warned Thursday that international oil companies should not sign contracts that bypass the central government and the Oil Ministry, a clear warning against deals with the Kurdistan regional administration, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The decision is likely to anger officials in the autonomous Kurdish region who have signed deals with several international companies including Norway’s DNO.
“The ministry warns companies against violating the Iraqi laws and they would be responsible of such behavior,” the minister said.

The flap could delay enactment of the new law to manage Iraq’s oil wealth, which is pending in parliament. The draft allows the Kurds to sign contracts subject to review by central government authorities.

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