Iraq Warns France Against Unsanctioned Oil Deals

Iraq gave a veiled warning to France's Total on Wednesday not to make deals with the KRG without the approval of central government in Baghdad, reports Reuters.

Kurdistan said on Tuesday it expects more oil majors to follow Exxon in striking deals in the region; Total has already said that it was interested.

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani gave his warning during discussions over oil exports and production with French Ambassador Denys Gauer, a statement from Shahristani's office said.

"(Shahristani) warned French companies operating in the oil sector in Iraq against signing contracts with non-Iraqi government sides or local governments," it said.

He noted "Iraq's desire to build advanced relations with France, especially in the field of energy and major strategic industries".

Norway's Statoil is also looking closely at KRG exploration deals, industry sources have said.

(Source: Reuters)

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