Canada’s Oryx Petroleum is the latest to shut in production in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) territory of Iraq as increasing militant activity in the area sends oil companies scampering.
The company has shut in output at its Demir Dagh field in the central portion of the Hawler licence area, it said on Friday.
“Drilling operations and facilities construction at the Demir Dagh field remain secure and operational but continue at reduced levels primarily due to the departure of certain third-party service company personnel from the site,” it said.
“In the western portion of the Hawler license area, drilling operations at the Ain Al Safra and Banan sites have been temporarily suspended, both sites secured and non-essential personnel relocated to Erbil given the proximity of such locations to recently reported hostilities in northern Iraq,” Oryx continued.
The company described the developments as “precautionary measures to protect its employees and operations” amid the worsening security situation.
Chevron, Genel Energy and Afren are just some of the other companies that have either pulled some staff or shut in production at some fields, with ExxonMobil also said to have taken similar steps.
On Thursday US President Barack Obama authorised the use of air strikes against Islamist militants threatening areas in KRG territory. On Friday two US aircraft dropped bombs on militants in the region.