Chevron has temporarily suspended oil and gas drilling activity in Iraqi Kurdistan, the company said on Thursday, in the latest setback to the region following recent unrest.
“Chevron has decided to temporarily suspend its operations,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement.
In September, Chevron drilled its first exploration well in Iraqi Kurdistan after a two-year break.
“We remain in regular contact with the Kurdistan Regional Government. We look forward to resuming our operations as soon as conditions permit.”
On the other hand, the Iraqi oil ministry reacted angrily on Thursday after Russian energy giant Rosneft signed a production sharing deal with the authorities in the autonomous Kurdish region without its approval.
The agreement came hot on the heels of Baghdad’s recapture from Kurdish forces of five oil fields in disputed territory outside the autonomous region in retaliation for an independence vote last month.
“This department and the Iraqi federal government are the only two bodies with whom agreements should be reached for the development and investments in the energy sector,” the ministry said in a statement, without mentioning Rosneft by name.
Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaybi condemned the “irresponsible announcements coming from certain officials in Iraq or abroad, or from foreign companies about their intention to conclude deals with parties in Iraq without the federal government being aware.”