(This story was originally published Monday.)
AMMAN -(Dow Jones)- The Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq said Monday that Iraq's federal government needs to seek its approval before signing deals to develop the giant Kirkuk oil field.
Iraq's Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaiby and other senior officials had said that Baghdad was holding talks with U.K. energy giant BP PLC (BP), Baker Hughes inc. (BHI) and Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB), in order to double crude oil production from the Kirkuk field from the current 300,000 barrels a day.
"The KRG requires the federal oil ministry and the [state-run] North Oil Co. to respect the country's constitution and sit down with all relevant parties to determine how best to enhance and revitalize the present Kirkuk oil field," according to a statement emailed to Dow Jones Newswires.
The Kurds says that the oil hub province of Kirkuk is Kurdish and it should be annexed to their semi-autonomous territory. The central government argues that Kirkuk should be ruled jointly.
"In the meantime, the KRG expects that international oil companies restrain from any activities that may be in breach of the [Iraqi] constitution," the statement said.
-By Hassan Hafidh, Dow Jones Newswires; +962 799 831 831; Hassan.firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 27, 2012 00:19 ET (04:19 GMT)