Texas oil company signs production sharing deal with Kurds
The Associated PressPublished: September 8, 2007
EHOUSTON: Texas' Hunt Oil Co. and Kurdistan's regional government said Saturday they have signed a production-sharing contract for petroleum exploration in northern Iraq, the first such deal since the Kurds passed their own oil and gas law in August.
A Hunt subsidiary, Hunt Oil Co. of the Kurdistan Region, will begin geological survey and seismic work by the end of 2007 and hopes to drill an exploration well in 2008, the parties said in a news release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hunt is a privately held independent oil company based in Dallas, Texas. A third partner, Impulse Energy Corp., also has a stake in the project.
"We're very pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of these landmark events by actively participating in the establishment of the petroleum industry," Ray L. Hunt, Hunt's CEO, said in a statement.
Revenue will be shared by the KRG throughout Iraq, consistent with the Iraq constitution and the Kurds' new petroleum law, issued by the Kurdistan National Assembly early last month.
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A draft oil law for all of Iraq has been bogged down for months, in part because of disputes over who will control the proceeds.
In August, however, the Kurdish self-governing region in northern Iraq enacted its own law governing foreign oil investments. The move angered the central government in Baghdad, but the Kurds are determined to push ahead with oil exploration.
Ashti Hawrami, the regional government's minister of natural resources, said in a statement that the signing by Hunt is evidence the government's new oil and gas law has created "a supportive and transparent business environment which promotes investment by international oil companies in our region for the benefit of all."