BP signs deal on controversial north Iraq oilfield
KIRKUK, Iraq (AFP) - British energy giant BP has signed a deal with Baghdad on an oilfield at the heart of a dispute between the central government and Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq, officials said on Wednesday.
The agreement calls for the company to carry out surveys at the Kirkuk oilfield but could eventually lead to it working to increase the field's production.
Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region swiftly condemned the deal. Developing the field is part of Iraqi efforts to boost oil output in order to fund much-needed reconstruction.
But Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan are locked in a dispute over a swathe of disputed territory in north Iraq, as well as issues related to the apportioning of energy contracts to foreign firms and revenue sharing.