Iraqi deputy prime minister Hussein al-Shahristani has said that Baghdad was determined to cut ties with ExxonMobil and any other foreign oil company if they violate Iraqi law and proceed with upstream work in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. “Our stand regarding these companies has been constant since the start of the bidding rounds and dealings with these companies. It has never changed,” Shahristani, who is in charge of energy affairs, told reporters. A spokesman for Shahristani said Monday that Total, which has farmed into two Kurdish oil blocks in recent weeks, had been told by the Iraqi government to cancel its contract with the KRG or, failing that, sell its minority stake in the Halfaya oil field development consortium. “Iraq has asked Total officially to cancel its contract with the Kurdish region and respect Iraqi law or sell its stake in the Halfaya oil field,” Shahristani spokesman Faisal Abdullah told Platts on Monday. Shahristani reiterated Sunday night that the authority to conclude any oil and gas deals in Iraq lies with the federal government represented by the oil ministry, which signs contracts and refers them to the cabinet for approval, he added.