Iraq announced on Thursday it would form a government committee to negotiate with neighbouring countries over shared oil fields – a move that comes after Iraq accused Iran of stealing its oil from areas along their border.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office issued a statement on Thursday saying the Cabinet had agreed to form a committee to be headed by a foreign affairs deputy, with representation from the Oil and Interior ministries.
Earlier this month, the Oil Ministry accused Iran of stealing oil from a shared field under their common border and of illegally seizing and capping off wells in a second field that Iraq claims lies entirely within its territory.
The two adjacent oil fields, Abu Gharb – which Iraq claims in its entirety – and al-Fakkah, the shared field, are among Iraq’s richest. Both lie in Maysan province, about 320 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of Baghdad.
After the 2003 US-led invasion, Iran seized six wells in Abu Gharb, claiming they were on disputed territory and should be sealed until the border dispute was settled.
Iran has strongly denied any wrongdoing. (AP)
Iraqi cabinet forms committee to work on shared oil fields issue