French oil major Total SA has become the latest big oil company to shift the focus of its Iraq ambitions toward the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, and away from the much larger but economically challenging contracts offered by Baghdad.
Total's chief executive said on Friday he was considering possible investments in Kurdistan, something which previously prompted the central Iraq government to bar companies from investing in the south of the country, and added he did not plan to chase contracts in Baghdad's next licensing round.
"From what we are hearing the conditions of the fourth bidding round in Iraq do not appear very attractive," Christophe de Margerie told a press conference. "The interest in Kurdistan is that there are plenty of gas and oil reserves there and contractual conditions are better."
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