With no immediate end in sight for the clashes in Kurdistan, more upstream companies are suspending work in the war torn region.

Hess Middle East and its partner Petroceltic have stopped operations in Kurdistan, Petroceltic said Tuesday.

State-owned Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) also suspended operations in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region.

TAQA said it would significantly reduce staffing levels at its Kurdish field until the safety and security of its staff can be assured.

It said it remains committed to developing the Artrush Block and expects production to start in 2015.

ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, began pushing into Kurdistan last month. By last week, it had seized “four strategic towns on a key highway,” according to McClatchy, and had advanced to “positions just minutes” from the Kurdish capital, Erbil.

Kurdistan is a semi-autonomous region of northern Iraq with its own regional government, armed forces, and an oil-dependent economy that has attracted big foreign investors.

Hess’s work in the region is at the Shireen-1 exploration well in the Dinarta licence area.

It owns a 64 percent stake in the license and is the operator.

Petroceltic owns a 16 percent share and the Kurdistan Regional Government owns 20 percent.


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