According to a report by Dow Jones, OAO Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian state energy giant OAO Gazprom, has entered a third project in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, the company's deputy chief executive was cited as saying Tuesday, brushing aside concerns that it could harm relations with Iraq's central government.
Gazprom Neft has taken an 80% stake in a Kurdistan field with reserves of 100 million metric tons of oil, Vadim Yakovlev was quoted as saying by Interfax and Prime news agencies. The remaining 20% is owned by the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG. Gazprom Neft has interests in two other projects in the region.
Iraq's central government has clashed with the KRG over oil deals with foreign companies as Baghdad has tried to assert its control over the region's oil business. Iraqi officials have warned the Russian company to cancel the deals or pull out of its contract for the Badra oilfield, which is controlled by Baghdad.
Mr. Yakovlev said he didn't believe the latest deal would cause any problems with the Iraqi central government.
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