Iraq: Kurds demand oil bidding round be annulled
Released : Wednesday, June 24, 2009 4:10 AM
BAGHDAD-Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region has branded Baghdad's energy contracts due to be awarded at the end of this month as "unconstitutional" and demanded they be annulled.
Tuesday's statement says the central government should have consulted local authorities from producing provinces. That includes disputed Kirkuk, which the Kurds want to annex into their northern region.
Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani defended his plans before the parliament Tuesday. He says the contracts to be awarded are "legal" and will be ratified by the Cabinet.
More than 30 international oil companies are competing to develop eight oil and gas fields.
Baghdad and the Kurds also disagree over nearly two dozen oil deals the Kurds signed unilaterally with international companies.http://calibre.mworld.com/m/m.w?lp=GetStory&id=365906691