RAWA, IRAQ - In February, in the desert of Anbar province near the Syrian border, Ibrahim Madah Hassan Taha al-Ma'rouf was heading a family expedition in search of water for the next crop of wheat and barley, when he had the misfortune of discovering natural gas.
Using a metal bar that twists and burrows into the ground, he hit water at a depth of 37 meters; as he continued to dig, however, the smell of gas became so powerful that Ma’rouf had to stop and call the authorities. Iraq’s state-run North Oil Company is now studying his land for a potential major new deposit.
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