Attacks on major gasfield in northern Iraq delay expansion project

Khor Mor gasfield in Iraq’s northern province of Sulaimaniyah has been attacked three times by missiles since Wednesday

Dana Gas said work on the expansion project has been temporarily suspended 'while security enhancements are carried out'. Jaime Puebla / The National
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The recent rocket attacks against a major gasfield in the Kurdistan region of Iraq have temporarily suspended an expansion project aimed at boosting production, the developer said on Monday.

Since Wednesday, Khor Mor gasfield in Iraq’s province of Sulaimaniyah has been attacked three times. The province is one of three that make up the Kurdish region.

There was no claim of responsibility from any group for the attacks, but they coincide with increasing tension in Iraq over forming a new government. The region has seen similar attacks on oil and gas infrastructure in the past months.

Although the attacks did not damage the field facilities or interrupt production operations, one of the assaults wounded two contractors, according to the UAE's Dana Gas company.

"The work on the KM 250 expansion project has been temporarily suspended while security enhancements are carried out”, Dana Gas said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

That project is supposed to increase daily production to 1 billion standard cubic feet per day of gas and 35,000 barrels of condensate. Work was hit by the coronavirus pandemic and only resumed in April last year.

The company said that it is “closely co-ordinating with the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] who along with the Iraqi government have shown strong support”.

In response to these attacks, Kurdish authorities have taken all necessary measures to enhance security measures in Khor Mor, including the mobilisation of further armed forces to protect the facilities, it added.

The field is being developed by the Pearl Consortium, which is led by Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum with partners OMV of Austria, Hungary's MOL and RWE.

Production started in 2008, sending gas to power stations in the cities of Chemchemal, Bazian and Erbil, making the Kurdish region the first to use gas for electricity in Iraq on such a scale.

By 2018, production had risen by 50 per cent from 305 million standard cubic feet per day to 452 million by the end of 2021, together with 15,000 barrels per day of condensate and more than 1,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas.

To date, all of the gas produced by the field has been used for in-country power generation, providing fuel for more than 80 per cent of the Kurdish region of Iraq.

It is vital to the Kurds' aim of exporting natural gas to Europe through Turkey.

Updated: June 27, 2022, 12:15 PM