Shahristani says Total cannot sign Kurdistan deals
BASRA Iraq Feb 12 (Reuters) - Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani said on Sunday Total could not sign oil deals with the Kurdistan region without approval, and like other companies the French major would bear the "full consequences" if it did.
Total said on Friday said it was considering possible investments in semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan following a similar move by Exxon Mobil. The central government has already rejected that agreement.
"The position of the Iraqi government will be the same as with the other oil companies, that no company has a right to sign a contract without the approval of the central government of Iraq," Shahristani said in the oil hub of Basra when asked about a possible Total deal with Kurdistan.
"Any such contract has no standing with the Iraqi government, and the companies have no right to work on the Iraqi territories and they bear the full consequences."
Shahristani also said his understanding was that Iran would not carry out a threat to close down the Strait of Hormuz because Iranian oil supplies also relied on the shipping lane and closure would not benefit Tehran.
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