France's Total bags new oil in Iraq Kurdish regionThe Associated Press
BAGHDAD -- A Canadian oil company says French oil giant Total has bought its minority share in an exploration block in Iraq's northern self-ruled Kurdish region, ignoring Baghdad's objections about direct deals with the Kurds.
Total confirmed the deal on Tuesday without giving details.
ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. says Total will pay $48 million for its 20 percent share in a deal to search for oil in Taza block near the Iraqi city of Sulaimiyah.
Papua New Guinea's Oil Search holds a 60 percent share. The Kurdish regional government owns the rest.
Last month, Total said it signed a deal with the Kurds to search for oil in two areas, defying the central government that insists the country's energy resources should be managed on a national level.