Special to WorldTribune.com
ABU DHABI — There are few greater oil powers than Iraq, and few more vulnerable
entities than Iraq’s northern autonomous region of Kurdistan.
So, how is it that Western energy majors are abandoning Iraq for Kurdistan?
The answer lies in a key lesson of Arab Spring: Western companies, burned in Libya, would rather invest in stable, albeit small, oil countries than giants saddled by corruption and insurgency.
Foreign contractors have invested more than $1 billion in an energy project in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan.
Two Middle East partners said they invested more than $1 billion in
natural gas operations in Kurdistan. Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum said their investment resulted in the production of 79 million barrels of oil
equivalent, or a daily output of up to 88,000 barrels, from Kurdistan’s Kor
Mor field since 2008.
“We are working with the KRG Natural Resources Ministry on the next
phase of development and expansion, and look forward to growing our
operations and investment to enable further progress and prosperity for the local community.” Dana chief executive officer Rashid Al Jarwan said.
The contractors, threatened by the Iraqi Oil Ministry, said they helped
employ more than 2,000 Kurdish workers as well as expatriates from 20
countries. Dana and Crescent, citing the construction of a 180-kilometer gas
pipeline said gas production began in a record 15 months.