By Patrick Markey and Peg Mackey
(Reuters) – In the weeks before Iraqi Kurdistan revealed that Exxon Mobil had signed up to explore for oil there, executives at rival Shell faced a dilemma over whether or not to join the U.S. oil major in its foray north and risk angering Baghdad.
The fields in the autonomous region offered rich potential, an easier working environment, better security and attractive contracts. That seemed a winning combination for smaller oil companies already working there, such as Norway’s DNO (DNO.OL: Quote, Profile, Research), even though they struggled to collect profits.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iran has approached Baghdad to host forthcoming talks with six world powers over its disputed nuclear program, Iraq said on Wednesday, apparently departing from plans for an Istanbul meeting following Iranian frictions with Turkey.
Iranian media quoted Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying the talks could take place in Baghdad or China. He gave no further details.
BAGHDAD, April 1 (Reuters) – Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan
region halted its oil exports on Sunday, accusing the central
government in Baghdad of failing to make payments to companies
working there in the latest clash in their long-running dispute
over oil rights.
The disagreement heightens tensions in a broader dispute
between Iraqi Arabs and ethnic Kurds over contested land,
political autonomy and oil that has become a potential
flashpoint for Iraq since the last U.S. troops left in December.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Three rockets exploded around Baghdad on Thursday despite a massive security operation as Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki hosted the country’s first Arab League summit in two decades.
After years of war, Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government had hoped the summit would highlight its growing stability and renewed role in the region, where Sunni Gulf nations have long been wary of Baghdad’s close ties to Shi’ite power Iran.
BAGHDAD, March 29 (Reuters) – Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri
al-Maliki on Thursday hosted Baghdad’s first Arab League summit
in two decades, a meeting dominated by Syria’s crisis.
As the summit began, a rocket exploded near the Iranian
embassy in Baghdad on the edge of the fortified Green Zone,
where leaders were meeting under extremely tight security in a
Saddam Hussein-era palace.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Arab leaders will not call on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down at a summit in Iraq on Thursday but will support Syrian-led transfer of power, Iraq’s foreign minister said on Monday.
Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said the summit is also expected to endorse a six-point peace proposal by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, which calls for a cease-fire, political dialogue between the government and opposition, and full access for aid agencies.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will seek to showcase his country’s diplomatic return to the region this week when leaders gather for the first Arab League summit in Baghdad in two decades, and the only one hosted by a Shi’ite Arab ruler.
With violence from its war waning and the last U.S. troops gone, Iraq is keen to present itself as more stable and re-assert its clout in an often hostile Arab region, where the Iraqi Shi’ite-led government’s rise riled Sunni Arab Gulf neighbors.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia, which has had uneasy relations with Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government, has named an ambassador to Baghdad for the first time since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Tuesday.
“For the first time since 1990, the Saudis have named an ambassador to Iraq. This is a very positive development,” Zebari told Reuters, without elaborating.
BAGHDAD, Feb 9 (Reuters) – France’s Total is
preparing the ground to become the next oil major to move into
Iraqi Kurdistan, negotiating over two blocks following Exxon
Mobil’s deal with the semi-autonomous region last year, Kurdish
and industry sources said.
Any contract between Total and the Kurdistan Regional
Government (KRG) risks exacerbating a feud between the Kurds and
the Arab-dominated central government, which has already warned
that Exxon’s deal violates Baghdad’s control over oil
BAGHDAD, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Iraq could seek a waiver
from the United States on sanctions on Iran because of its high
trade with the neighbouring country and to protect its foreign
reserves from penalties, an Iraqi government spokesman said on
The U.S. government in December signed a law imposing
sanctions on financial institutions dealing with Iran’s central
bank, the main channel for its oil revenues and the European
Union has also announced a ban on Iranian oil shipments.