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Iraq Reaffirms Kurdish Oil Contracts Are Illegal

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- Contracts that semi-autonomous Kurdish authorities have signed with private oil firms are illegal until they are ratified by the Oil Ministry in Baghdad, the Iraqi government has reaffirmed.

"These contracts need to be ratified by the Iraqi federal Oil Ministry. Till that time they are illegal," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told reporters at a news conference with Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani.

The Iraqi government at the beginning of the month allowed crude to start being exported from two Kurdish oil fields developed by Norway's DNO International, Toronto-listed Addax Petroleum, and Turkey's Genel Enerji.