Kurdistan gives oil companies 18-month deadline to end gas flaring

The unexpected directive could spur progress toward ending the wasteful and environmentally damaging practice of flaring, but it also raises concerns for oil companies.
A flare burns at the Taq Taq oil field in 2016. (STAFF/Iraq Oil Report)

ERBIL - The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has issued a directive to field operators that they have 18 months to halt the flaring of associated gas that is produced along with crude oil.

The July 13 order, a copy of which was seen by Iraq Oil Report, is a move to end the wasteful and environmentally disastrous practice of burning gas and other byproducts of crude production. But it is also likely to raise concerns among the international oil companies (IOCs) developing Kurdistan's oil fields, since the two-page letter does not address the key question of how the anti-flaring measures will affect the financial structure of projects where the MNR already owes hundreds of millions of dollars in backlogged invoices.

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