KNOXVILLE, Tenn., July 19 (UPI) -- The Iraqi government and several international oil companies have tapped Sterling Global Operations to find and remove landmines from Kurdistan.
The removal of mines and other explosive devices will ensure the area is safe for oil exploration and agricultural and commercial development.
"This is an area of Iraq that has excellent potential for energy and agricultural development," said Andy Gleeson, SGO Iraq Mine Action project manager. "It's territory that has obviously seen extensive fighting over a long period of time. That means it's dangerous to drill without knowing there aren't explosives in the way.
"Also, you can't build new homes, roads, or schools in a place possibly contaminated with landmines and other unexploded ordnance."
The performance periods of the awards were not disclosed, but SGO said some work would be multi-year efforts.
The awards carry the value of more than $10 million.
The work will be performed by local workers under SGO supervision.