Kurdish oil secure after blasts

Oct. 1, 2013 at 7:14 AM

LONDON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Gulf Keystone, an oil company operating in northern Iraq, said weekend attacks in Erbil had no major impact on oil operations.

Officials in the semiautonomous Kurdish north of Iraq blamed al-Qaida for a string of bombings in Erbil, the Kurdish capital, that left six people dead and more than 40 others injured, pan-Arab news agency Asharq al-Awsat reported Monday.

The Kurdish provinces have been relatively shielded from violence. Its government, however, has been locked in a heated debate over oil revenue with the central government in Baghdad.

Gulf Keystone, a company with headquarters in London, said it was saddened by the weekend attacks.

"Gulf Keystone's people are thankfully all safe and operations are not affected and all our thoughts are with the people of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq," Chief Executive Officer Todd Kozel said in a statement.

The company in June said the region's Shaikan field could hold as much as 10.5 billion barrels of oil. The KRG said production would start at 40,000 barrels of oil per day and reach 250,000 bpd by 2018.

Gulf Keystone said gross production from the first phase of Shaikan totaled 183,000 barrels of oil and nearly all of it was sold on the Iraqi market.

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