Iraqi Kurdistan says Exxon committed to oil deal

ARBIL, Iraq Thu Apr 5, 2012 8:44pm EDT

The Exxon corporate logo is pictured at a gas station in Arlington, Virginia January 31, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

The Exxon corporate logo is pictured at a gas station in Arlington, Virginia January 31, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - The chief executive of U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) on Thursday reaffirmed the company's commitment to its oil deal with Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish region, a statement from the Kurdish presidency website said.

Iraq's central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have a long-standing feud over control of oil in the north and the announcement of an oil contract between Exxon and the KRG last October infuriated Baghdad.

The central government threatened to bar Exxon from future deals and has said it would even reconsider its role in a huge oil project in southern Iraq.

A statement from the Kurdish Presidency website posted late on Thursday said the region's President Masoud Barzani had met with Exxon Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson while visiting the United States.

"Rex Tillerson renewed the commitment of his company's signed contracts with Kurdistan and Iraq and expressed the readiness of Exxon Mobil to continue its work in Kurdistan," the statement said.

On Monday, Baghdad said Exxon had frozen its work in the Kurdish region. The KRG denied this.

(Reporting by Shamal Aqrawi; Writing by Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Sugita Katyal)

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