(Adds company comment, statement)
BAGHDAD Nov 9 Iraq has warned Russia's Gazprom
Neft to quit oil deals with the country's autonomous Kurdistan
or pull out of its contract for the Badra oilfield, a spokesman
for Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain Shahristani said on
Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian gas export
monopoly Gazprom, in August acquired interests in two blocks
with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) following moves by
rivals like Exxon and Total which angered the central Iraqi
government in Baghdad.
"Iraq sent a letter to Gazprom at the end of October asking
the company for an official reply, that it should cancel deals
signed with KRG or pull out completely from Badra oilfield,"
Faisal Abdullah said.
Last year Gazprom said it expected to start production at
Badra with 15,000 barrels per day in August 2013. The field with
100 million barrels of reserves near Iran's border is operated
with Turkey's TPAO, Korea's Kogas and Malaysia's Petronas.
Gazprom Neft Chief Operating Officer Alexander Dyukov
declined to comment.
Exxon was the first major to sign oil deals with Kurdistan
and is now at the centre of a dispute over oil and territory
between the Arab-led central government and ethnic Kurds, who
have run their own administration in northern Iraq since 1991.
(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad and Olesya Ashtakhova;
writing by Patrick Markey)