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Kurdish oil work secure, British company says

Statement from Gulf Keystone Petroleum follows uptick in violence in southern Turkey.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Kurdish oil work secure, British company says
Operations at Kurdish oil field continuing as normal despite lingering security threats, Gulf Keystone Petroleum says. Photo courtesy of Gulf Keystone Petroleum.

LONDON, July 31 (UPI) -- Production in the Shaikan oil field in the Kurdish north of Iraq is continuing without disruption despite regional security woes, Gulf Keystone Petroleum said.

The company said production and other operations are proceeding without interruption and in a "safe and secure manner." It's the second company to issue an operational update after NATO minister met this week at the request of Turkey to discuss regional security issues.

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The company trucks crude oil across the border to Turkey for injection into a pipeline to the sea port of Ceyhan.

"These deliveries are expected to resume once the temporary shutdown of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline in Turkey has been rectified," Gulf Keystone said in a statement.

The pipeline, with a maximum capacity of around 400,000 barrels of oil per day, was bombed Wednesday in the southern Turkish province of Sirnak. It came one day after Ankara blamed the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party for an attack on a natural gas pipeline stretching from Iran.

The Turkish government has accused the group known by its Kurdish initials PKK of collaborating with the terrorist movement calling itself the Islamic State.

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Norwegian energy company DNO International this week offered assurances that its operations in northern Iraq were proceeding as normal despite the uptick in violence.

Gulf Keystone said that, as of Wednesday, production from the Shaikan reserve area was around 43,700 bpd, with about 39,500 barrels loaded on trucks for later sale.

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