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Attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan create setback for nascent oil sector

A series of rocket attacks on the Khor Mor field gas field in northern Iraq has forced US service providers out, potentially dealing a blow to the Kurdish region’s hopes of boosting revenues. While critical infrastructure sustained no serious damage, the events have suspended activity in the region and have forced contractors to reconsider their involvement, Reuters reports.

The project to expand output at one of the biggest Iraqi fields, with 16 trillion cubic feet of proven reserves, was originally suspended at the end of June after three rocket attacks. The resumption of attacks has halted long-standing plans to double production and create another pipeline to Turkey.

With critical players pulling out of projects, delays risk costing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) up to $40 million a month in payments to a UAE-based gas group if key project deadlines are not met. Such setbacks would be a major hit to the government, already reeling from an economic crisis, a supreme court decision that decided against regional oil production, and a debt load that has hit $38 billion, according to government officials.

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