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U.S. company Murphy Oil nabs Kurdish deal

Nov. 5, 2010 at 8:28 AM

EL DORADO, Ark., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- A deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq includes oil assets on 239 square miles of prime resource-rich land, U.S. company Murphy Oil said.

Murphy Oil Corp., an independent energy company with headquarters in Arkansas, announced its Kurdish subsidiary finished a deal with the Kurdish government in Iraq to share interests in the northern Iraqi province of Dahuk.

Dahuk sits on "world-class" reserves in Iraq and the company aims to start drilling exploration wells in the region as early as 2012, the company said.

"We are delighted with our entry into Kurdistan and to add another high-quality oil exploration opportunity to our portfolio," said David Wood, Murphy's president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

U.S. supermajor Marathon announced in October that it signed production sharing contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government for the Harir and Safen blocks near Erbil. The company added that it was assigned a working interest in the Atrush and Sarsang blocks in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

The contracts marked a first for Marathon in Iraq, which aims to increase oil production to a level that would rival Saudi Arabia.

Baghdad in early October raised its estimated oil reserves 24 percent to 143 billion barrels.

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