Iraq asks energy firm to resume work at retaken oil fields

Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi calls on Sonangol to resume work in developing Qayyarah and Najmah fields in Nineveh.

Luaibi requested that work be resumed by end of next month


2017-01-10 16:50:35




BAGHDAD - Iraq's oil minister called Tuesday for Angolan energy firm Sonangol to resume work at fields south of Mosul where the Islamic State group had set wells alight, sparking months-long infernos.

Iraqi forces recaptured the Qayyarah and Najmah fields last year, but oil wells have burned long after ISIS was pushed back, blanketing areas for miles around in a haze of smoke.

Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi "called on Angolan company Sonangol to resume work in developing the Qayyarah and Najmah fields in Nineveh province," the oil ministry said in a statement.

Luaibi made the call during a meeting with Sonangol executive administrator Edson dos Santos, and requested that work be resumed at the two fields by the end of next month, the ministry said.

The statement said that "most of the wells set on fire by terrorist gangs" had been brought under control, but ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said that nine were still burning.

Sonangol made the winning bids in 2009 to develop Qayyarah and Najmah.

But ISIS overran the areas after launching a devastatingly effective offensive in 2014 that saw it seize swathes of territory north and west of Baghdad.

The jihadists have since been pushed back, but they set oil wells alight in a bid to sow destruction and provide cover from attacking aircraft before they withdrew.

Iraqi forces are now battling ISIS inside Mosul, the country's second city and the last in which the jihadists hold significant territory.

The Iraqi government relies on oil for the vast majority of its revenue, and has been hit hard by falling prices following years of mismanagement and corruption that squandered funds when prices were high.


MENA Now
Editors' Picks

The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

Senior Editor: John Hendel

Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

Regular Columnists

Claude Salhani

Yavuz Baydar

Correspondents

Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

Thomas Seibert (Washington)

Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi

Designers

Ibrahim Ben Bechir

Hanen Jebali

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Contact editor at:editor@thearabweekly.com

Subscription & Advertising: Ads@alarab.co.uk

Tel 020 3667 7249

Mohamed Al Mufti

Marketing & Advertising Manager

Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

www.alarab.co.uk

Al Arab Publishing House

Kensington Centre

177-179 Hammersmith Road

London W6 8BS , UK

Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

Follow Us
© The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved