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Oil Search temporarily suspends well in Kurdistan due to turmoil

JAMES PATON

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Bloomberg) -- Oil Search Ltd. temporarily suspended a well in Iraqi Kurdistan after violence in the region disrupted its ability to get skilled technicians and equipment to the Taza oil project.

Oil Search’s other operations in the area are continuing with the security situation stable, the oil producer said on Aug. 19 in a statement as it posted a 34% gain in first-half profit. Oil Search declined 0.4% to A$9.41 in Sydney trading.

“We are continuing to monitor the security situation closely and plan to re-commence Taza-2 operations once we are confident that the long-term integrity of our supply chain has been safely re-established,” according to the statement.

Oil companies including Chevron Corp. and Afren Plc evacuated staff and halted drilling operations in Kurdistan earlier this month as Islamist militants advanced into northern Iraq. Oil Search plans further drilling in the semi-autonomous region where the economy has boomed with oil exploration since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Brent in London slid to the lowest price in almost 14 months on Aug. 18 as Kurdish and Iraqi forces seized control of Iraq’s largest dam from Islamic State militants.

Oil Search is also Exxon Mobil Corp.’s partner in a $19 billion LNG project in Papua New Guinea that started earlier this year.

08/19/2014

 

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