Wednesday, May 16, 2007


DNO to start pumping Iraqi crude oil onto global market

(BI-ME) - Norwegian oil producer DNO will become the first foreign firm in more than three decades to start pumping Iraqi crude into the global market next month, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. It will begin producing a small amount of oil from the Northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan, marking a symbolic return of foreign companies to Iraq after 35 years of state control.
The company’s experience is being closely watched by larger competitors, eager for a slice of the world’s third-largest oil reserves, but deterred by security fears and the lack of a legal framework for Iraqi oil. The sharing of oil resources has been a point of dispute between Iraq’s sectarian communities. The Kurdish authorities’ decision to sign separate contracts, could add strain to relations between Iraq’s Kurdish authorities and the central government in Baghdad. Ashti Hawrani, the Kurdish oil minister, said Kurdistan’s regional government would share revenue with the rest of the country.
In Asian trading, oil slipped early on Wednesday ahead of data expected to show rises in US crude and fuel inventories, but Brent prices held near US$68 after a rally on further supply disruptions in the world's eighth largest exporter Nigeria. London Brent crude, currently seen as more representative of the global oil market, was talked at US$67.83/US$67.95 a barrel for June, ahead of the contract's expiry on Wednesday. US crude futures dipped 12 cents to US$63.05 a barrel.

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