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South Korean company finds oil in Iraq

March 27, 2013 at 6:38 AM

SEOUL, March 27 (UPI) -- South Korea's state-run oil company said it made a significant oil discovery in the Kurdish region of Iraq alongside its Swiss partners at Oryx Petroleum.

Oryx has a 65 percent interest in the Hawler field in the northern semiautonomous Kurdish region with the Korean National Oil Corp. The Kurdish government has a 15 percent interest in the field.

KNOC said it made a "significant" discovery in the Hawler field, South Korean news agency Yonhap reports. More work was needed to determine the reserve potential, though KNOC said it yielded 10,000 barrels of oil per day during initial testing.

The Kurdish government in December said production from the semiautonomous region could add at least $8 billion to the Iraqi treasury. It halted oil production in the past, however, because of political disputes with Baghdad.

The central government in Baghdad says working with the Kurdish government may be illegal.

The Iraqi government this month passed a budget without Kurdish leaders, who expressed frustration when the budget passed with $650 million for northern oil developments against the $3.5 billion they wanted.

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