US oil major, Chevron has signed an agreement with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for a share in the Qara Dagh exploration block in the north of Iraq.

The agreement was announced by the KRG’s minister of natural resources, according to local media reports but has not been confirmed by Chevron.

The block’s production sharing contracts (PSC) was previously held by three Canadian firms; Niko Resources, Vast Exploration and Groundstar Resources until November, when the firms entered into a relinquishment and termination agreement with the KRG.

Chevron’s agreement would add to its acquisition of 80 per cent stake in the PSC for the Rovi and Sarta blocks from India’s Reliance Exploration & Production signed in July 2012.

In December, Chevron announced a $36.7bn capital spending and exploration budget for 2013. The exploration segment is expected to total $3.4bn, which includes initial appraisals for acreage acquired in Iraq, Suriname and Sierra Leone. No further breakdown of spending has been announced.