After a string of rocket attacks, the American contractors extending a gasfield in northern Iraq were forced to depart. This crushed the Kurdish region’s hopes of increasing its income and offering a meager alternative to Russian gas.
The Khor Mor field expansion project was put on hold by the Pearl Consortium, which is controlled to a large extent by Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas of Abu Dhabi, after three rocket attacks. According to sources in the industry and the Kurdish government, Exterran Corp. personnel from Texas returned to the site last month to continue working, but two further rocket assaults on the site on July 25 forced the company to leave once more with no return date planned.
Iraq’s Power Sources Become Targets of Attackers
An area that desperately needs additional gas to create electricity and halt the practically daily power outages is the target of the development plan for Khor Mor, one of Iraq’s major gas fields. According to the sources, the expansion—which calls for the building of a second pipeline to Turkey at a later time—has been placed on hold until the region’s security is ensured. The strikes did not significantly harm anything, and continuing operations were not halted. The project, which is largely supported by a $250 million financing agreement with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, expects to export gas to Turkey and Europe after the needs of the domestic market have been met.
Exterran (NYSE:EXTN) is the third contractor to demobilize since airstrikes started striking the region on June 21; two Turkish subcontractors, Havatek and Biltek, had already ceased operations.
In order to build a pipeline that would run parallel to an existing pipeline from Khor Mor to the city of Dohuk, which is near to the Turkish border, via the regional capital Erbil, the Kurdish administration and domestic energy company KAR Group decided to collaborate last year. Delays might lead to significant fines for the insolvent Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and halt Kurdish plans for gas export.
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