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Total defies Baghdad, signs with Kurdistan

The third super-major to sign oil deals with Kurdistan, Total has bought stakes in two exploration blocks from Marathon, risking an existing contract with Baghdad.
The drilling platform at the Akri-Bijeel field in Iraqi Kurdistan. (SEBASTIAN MEYER/Iraq Oil Report/Metrography)

France's Total has signed two deals with Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, provoking condemnation and threats from leaders in Baghdad.

After buying a 35 percent interest in two exploration blocks from American firm Marathon, Total has become the third super-major to sign contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), even though leaders in Baghdad say that any deal done without the approval of the central government is illegitimate.

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