Home Wealth  Money Exxon Reportedly Wins Deal In Kurdistan, Reaction From Baghdad Expected

Exxon Reportedly Wins Deal In Kurdistan, Reaction From Baghdad Expected

Posted: Nov. 12th, 2011  |  By Forbes

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ExxonMobil has reportedly signed an oil and gas exploration agreement with Kurdistan.

The Financial Times is reporting that ExxonMobil (nyse: XOM - news - people ) has become the first of the major oil companies to venture into the semi-autonomous region of Iraq.

The newspaper noted the move could spur a backlash from Baghdad.

The FT said an advisor to the Kurdistan Regional Government told it that the region has been in discussions with a number of major oil companies in recent months, and has signed an agreement for Exxon to explore in six blocks.

The newspaper noted that until now, Big Oil players such as Exxon, BP (nyse: BP - news - people ) and Royal Dutch Shell (nyse: RDSA - news - people ) have shied away from making agreements with Kurdistan for fear of antagonizing Baghdad.

The Iraqi government is said to view such contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government as illegitimate.

ExxonMobil shares are trading higher by over 1.3% on the news.

The Energy Select Sector SPDR , in which Exxon is the top holding, is trading up 1.5%.

#2 holding Schlumberger (nyse: SLB - news - people ) is trading up about 1.7%, while third-largest holding Chevron (nyse: CVX - news - people ) () trades up over 1.5%.

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