Farmer’s lawsuit demands compensation for oil land

Farmer claims that state oil company took over his land in Missan province and owes him millions in lost income.
Picture taken on December 12, 2009 shows the digging of a new well at the Halfaya oil field near the southern city of Amara in Iraq's southern Missan province. (KARIM JAMIL/AFP/Getty Images)

AMARA, IRAQ - An angered farmer is awaiting a verdict in a nearly $2 million lawsuit claiming that the South Oil Company took over his land without just compensation, in an early test of whether – and how – the government will compensate Iraqis who are displaced or adversely affected by the oil-sector expansion.

Sheikh Sadoon Hameed asserts that oil operations began on his farm land in Missan province in 2001. The Missan Oil Company, a new state firm which took over the province's oil operations from the South Oil Company in 2008, wouldn't comment on the case because a verdict is expected soon from a special court in Basra.

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