Kurdish oil boom begins

Despite major unresolved political disputes, exports hit record levels from Iraqi Kurdistan, which is looking to expand production further as companies begin collecting the payout from Baghdad.
Larry Morrow, a construction supervisor for Norway's DNO Iraq, taking a call about work at the Tawke field as he overlooks the crude processing facility at DNO's Feyshkabour export center. On the far right is where Tawke field oil is piped in. To the left, pipelines running from a tanker offloading center where other KRG fields truck their crude to be exported. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

TAWKE - Three years ago, the only thing shining in this Kurdish village was the reflection off the seepage pools of crude bubbling in residents' backyards. Now the summer sun glares off the tinted windows of new houses painted in bright pastel colors. The region is experiencing what appears to be the beginning of its long-heralded oil boom.

In the past four months, oil exports from five fields within or administered by the semi-autonomous Kurdish region have gone from zero to around 181,000 barrels per day (bpd), and companies have received a share of the $243 million payout from Baghdad.

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