Iraq warns Total over oil deal in Kurdish region

August 13, 2012 - 5:37 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — A government spokesman says Iraq has asked French oil giant Total S.A. to choose between working with the self-ruled northern Kurdish region or to quit developing one of the major oil fields in southern Iraq.

Last month, Total said it signed a deal with the Kurds to search for oil in two areas, defying Baghdad. Iraq's central government insists the country's energy resources should be managed on a national level.

Faisal Abdullah, the spokesman of Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy affairs, said Monday that the government has warned Total that it must quit developing the 4.95 billion barrel Halfaya oil field if it wants to continue the Kurdish deal. Total has a 25 percent share in a consortium led by China's CNPC that develops Halfaya.

Total declined to comment.