Iraq discovers oil in Kurdistan

Source: Tehran Times 4/9/2006, Location: Middle East

Iraq announced the discovery Saturday of oil reserves in the mountainous Kurdish region of Zakho, close to its border with Turkey. "We have discovered oil at Zakho, 470 kilometers (292 miles) north of Baghdad," announced Iraq's deputy oil minister Motassam Akram. He said the oil wells were drilled by a Norwegian company, DNO and added that the actual crude reserves would be known "soon".

In March, the Kurdish authorities had announced the signing of a contract with a Canadian company, Western Oil Sands, to survey the region of Garmain, 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Sulaimaniyah.

Most of Iraq's crude reserves are in Shiite-dominated southern regions and are exported through the two southern terminals. Exports from Iraq's northern fields around Kirkuk, just south of Kurdistan, have effectively been shut down by insurgent attacks.

The self-rule Kurdish region, which groups the provinces of Sulaimaniyah, Arbil and Dohuk, has a small number of oil fields.

In 2005, the country lost 6.25 billion dollars in oil revenues due to sustained insurgent attacks on its oil infrastructure.




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