(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Iraqi government said Tuesday it would place French oil company, Total, on the blacklist after the oil firm signed an agreement with Iraq's Kurdistan province.
Total will face "severe consequences" if it does not reconsider the agreement, Faisal Abdullah, spokesman of deputy premier for energy affairs Hussein Shahrestani, told KUNA.
Iraq, he added, would punish companies that sign agreements without approval of the central government in Baghdad and the ministry of oil.
"Total will be place on a blacklist for violating the Iraqi laws," he said.
Abdullah did not provide further details, and said the Iraqi government would study the measures to be taken against Total.
Earlier today Total said it had acquired a 35 percent interest in two exploration blocks in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq.
Total has signed a "farm in" agreement for the Harir and Safen blocks which are owned by Marathon Oil KDV.
Abdullah said the government in Baghdad had already warned that such a move would be illegal.
Harir has a surface area of 705 square kilometres and Safen measures 424 square kilometres. Total will be development operator on the Safen block.
Total said the deal confirmed its interest in developing the Iraqi oil sector and that it was seeking more opportunities in the country.