Iraqi Kurdistan defends oil policy, rejects BP Kirkuk deal

BAGHDAD Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:15am EST

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BAGHDAD Jan 18 (Reuters) - Iraq's Kurdistan defended its oil contracts with foreign companies and its crude trade barter with Turkey as constitutional, and rejected a initial deal between Baghdad and BP to develop an oilfield in the disputed city of Kirkuk.

The statement came after Iraq's oil minister told Reuters Baghdad plans to sue companies exporting oil from the self-governed Kurdistan enclave and announced a preliminary deal with BP for Kirkuk oilfield.

The exchange is the latest between Iraq's Arab-led central government and autonomous Kurdistan which are locked in a widening dispute over control of oil revenues, and over oilfields and territory where both claim jurisdiction.

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