Protests around Ahdab threaten production

Ahdab field still producing, officials say, though protesters using road and checkpoint blockages could create logistical obstacles that could shut in fields.
Chinese workers conduct seismic surveys at the Ahdab oil field in Wasit province on March 11, 2009. (THAIER AL-SUDANI/Reuters)

Iraq's nearly 80,000 barrel per day (bpd) Ahdab oil field in eastern Wasit province is at risk of being shut in after three days of protests blocking nearly all access to the field.

While Iraq continues to hit new records for oil exports and production, the Oil Ministry is also trying to defuse the potential for violence at oil fields — with occasional impacts on production — amidst a combustible combination of local demands for employment opportunities, a months-long national protest movement, and public outrage over heavy-handed government crackdowns on demonstrators.

Ahdab, under the jurisdiction of the state-run Midland Oil Company (MdOC), is operated by CNPC-CNIC joint venture al-Waha Petroleum, under a 2008 service contract.

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