* Baghdad angry over Kurdistan deals with foreign companies
* Gazprom Neft has contracts both with Kurdistan and central
(Adds detail, quote)
MOSCOW Feb 19 The president of the Kurdistan
Regional Government (KRG) was quoted on Tuesday as saying that
the autonomous region of Iraq had signed new agreements in
recent days with Russia's fifth-largest oil producer, Gazprom
The deals may increase friction between KRG and Baghdad,
which insists that only it has the authority to grant oil
contacts and control crude exports in the country.
"We are satisfied with Gazprom Neft's work in the region.
New agreements have been reached with this Russian company in
recent days," Masoud Barzani was quoted as saying by news agency
Interfax, which didn't report any details.
A spokesman for Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of world's top oil
company, Gazprom, declined to comment.
Gazprom Neft acquired interests in two Kurdistan blocks last
August. That followed moves by international oil firms to
develop fields in the autonomous region that angered the central
Iraqi government in Baghdad.
The Russian company also has a contract for the Badra
oilfield, controlled by the government.
Industry insiders have said that Kurdistan offers more
lucrative conditions - under production sharing agreements -
than the central government.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)