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IOCs double down on Kurdistan despite legal threats

Foreign companies are putting more money into Kurdistan oil fields — and projecting increased production — despite Baghdad's legal campaign against the KRG oil sector.
A worker descends the Gulf Keystone drilling platform at Shaikan 5. (SEBASTIAN MEYER/Iraq Oil Report/Metrography)

Foreign oil companies operating in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region are ignoring a barrage of legal challenges to their businesses by Baghdad and are investing for the long haul, including activity that aims to bring new production online this year.

After two years of gradually declining oil production in Iraqi Kurdistan, the second half of the year will bring some relief with the imminent ramp-up of output from HKN’s Swara Tika oil field, additional output from early production facilities at Gulf Keystone Petroleum’s Shaikan, and gains from the Atrush field operated by the UAE’s Taqa, according to plans recently publicized by those companies.

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