Kurdistan conflict hits Oslo oil firm

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Shares in Norwegian oil company DNO were recovering on Wednesday, following a dive earlier this week that was tied to the ongoing conflict over Kurdistan. DNO is one of the few international firms with large oil reserves in the area, as operator of the Tawke field northeast of Kirkuk.

The region has been much in the news lately after Kurdish forces pushed the terrorist group IS out of areas to the south, only to have the Iraqis that fled the fight return to lay claim to Kurdistan and its oil wealth. That set off rising tensions in Northern Iraq, where Kurds want to finally set up their own country despite threats from both Iraq and neighbouring Turkey.

Production at Tawke has continued uninterrupted through all the violence and conflict of recent years. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported, though, that DNO’s stock fell 5.2 percent on Monday after a weekend of uncertainty and sabre-rattling between Iraqi and Kurdish forces. On Wednesday, they rose 2.15 percent again, to nearly NOK 10.50 by mid-afternoon.

Analysts agree DNO’s operations are secure. “There has been massive military activity in the region, but never near the oil installations to international oil companies,” Teodor Sveen-Nilsen, an analyst at Sparebanken 1 Markets, told DN. “Production has continued and it doesn’t look like it’s affecting export levels very much.”

If the Iraqis regain control over important Kurdish oil fields, however, it can cause problems regarding Kurdistan’s ability to pay for the oil, and thus for DNO. Analysts don’t seem worried, but are following the situation closely.

newsinenglish.no staff