Iraq blacklists US oil giant Chevron for acquiring Kudish oil blocks

Iraq has blacklisted US oil major Chevron Corp for acquiring two oil drilling blocks in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region from Reliance Industries (RIL).

While announcing that it has disqualified Chevron from doing business in central and southern Iraq, the country's oil ministry said in a statement that Chevron's investment in Kurdistan was ''illegal and illegitimate.''

The San Ramon, California-based company has also been barred ''from signing any deals with the federal oil ministry and its companies.''

Chevron is the second US oil major to be booted out by Baghdad, following American oil giant ExxonMobil last year.

Last week, Chevron had acquired majority stake in two oil drilling blocks from RIL in Iraq's northern Kurdish region, where local authorities and the central government in Baghdad are locked in a dispute over how to distribute the region's vast oil wealth. (See: Chevron acquires RIL's Kurdistan blocks) 

Chevron took over the 80-per cent stake held by Reliance Exploration and Production in the Sarta and Rovi blocks north of the Kurdish capital of Irbil estimated to hold around a billion barrels of oil reserves spread ovr 517 and 607 sq km, respectively.