Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), has entered into an oil and natural gas exploration agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government.
The agreement reported by the Wall Street Journal, and confirmed by Reuters, is to look for oil reserves in the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraq.
Alan Jeffers, an ExxonMobil spokesperson, said the company has no comment.
Iraqi officials in Baghdad say exploration on the part of ExxonMobil in that region could threaten the oil giant's deal in the country's giant West Qurna fields, which is estimated to hold billions of barrels of oil.
Baghdad, reported Reuters, does not recognize contracts between the regional government and foreign oil companies without approval from the county's central government and oil ministry.
It is not known if ExxonMobil has informed Iraq's oil ministry about the agreement, or if it has signed actual contracts with the Kurdish government.