Image courtesy of Genel Energy.

As a US bombing and aid campaign kicks off in the northern region of Iraq oil and gas companies are weighing the risks of operating during the unrest.

US supermajors Chevron and Exxon and London-based independent upstream companies Afren and Genel Energy are all pulling non-essential staff from fields in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

Chevron said Thursday its pulling expatriate staff from Kurdistan after conducting a safety review.

The number of workers pulled hasn’t been released.

There were also reports Thursday that Exxon pulled staff out of its Kurdish assets.

Exxon said it doesn’t comment on security matters.

Afren is temporarily suspending operations at its Barda Rash field “in light of heightened regional security related issues.”

Afren will implement a phased withdrawal of non-essential field personnel.

Badra Rash is about 34 miles (55 km) northwest of Erbil, Kurdistan’s capital.

Afren said Friday that all other operations in Kurdistan remain unaffected and that the suspension won’t significantly impact cashflow.

Genel confirmed that its pulling non-essential staff from its four non-producing assets in Kurdistan.

Operations at Genel’s Taq Taq and Tawke fields are unaffected, Genel said Friday.

Taq Taq and Tawke produce a combined 233,021 barrels of oil per day.

“We remain confident in the Kurdistan Regional Government’s ability to maintain the territorial integrity of both the KRI and oil infrastructure,” Genel said.

President Obama said the US will conduct limited airstrikes to push back Islamic State (ISIS) fighters and prevent the group from taking the capital.


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