Reports: Obama backs Iraqi concerns with Exxon deal

“The Iraqi government will take all necessary measures in applying the law and will not allow the company to implement these contracts,” it said.

Another big U.S.-based oil company, Chevron Corp., announced Thursday that it has completed a deal to acquire an 80 percent stake in two exploration and production blocks in the Kurdish region.

A White House spokeswoman, asked about the Exxon matter, said "We don’t comment on the President’s private communications with Prime Minister Maliki."
 
"It is important to note that in Iraq, as in most places, the national government is responsible for trade and export policy. We advise American energy companies doing business in Iraq to consider the legal risks involved in signing deals with a region, against Baghdad’s wishes and are concerned that such deals could be destabilizing. That said, in our economic system, private companies make their own business decisions, largely beyond the reach of government control," said Tanya Bradsher, assistant press secretary for national security and defense.

This post was updated at 5:45 p.m.