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DNO committed to Kurdish oil

Amid violence, company boasts of production records.

By Daniel J. Graeber

OSLO, Norway, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company DNO said Thursday it remains committed to work in the Kurdish north of Iraq, despite evolving security concerns.

The Islamic State, known also as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, controls large swathes of northwestern Iraq. The United Nations expressed concern when Yazidis, a Christian minority, came under threat from the Sunni-led terrorist group.

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Several companies have pulled non-essential staff out of northern Iraq as a security precaution, though marking its 10th anniversary of operations in the region, DNO said it's standing firm.

"We've had feet on the ground in Kurdistan for ten years, including during the recent crisis as well as in past ones, and remain fully and firmly committed to our operations," DNO Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement.

During the first quarter, DNO said it set three separate single day production records at its Tawke field in the Kurdish north -- daily production of 133,192 barrels of oil, daily deliveries to the Turkish sea port of Ceyhan of 126,048 barrels and daily sales of 114,760 barrels.

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"Our next challenge is to properly monetize all oil produced at Tawke by tapping international markets," Mossavar-Rahmani said.

This week, the federal government in Baghdad warned some oil exported from Iraq may have come from parts of the country under terrorist control.

Baghdad and the semiautonomous Kurdish government are at odds over oil exports, with Baghdad saying it's the only one with the constitutional authority to approve oil exports.

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