ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Chevron has restarted drilling in the Kurdistan Region after a two-year break, signaling confidence in the area ahead of its scheduled referendum on independence.
Chevron, the second largest US oil and gas company, began drilling in its Sarta block north of the regional capital of Erbil, industry sources told Reuters.
“Chevron continues its exploration activities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” a Chevron spokeswoman said, without elaborating.
Chevron has not drilled in the Kurdistan Region since late 2015. At the same time, it handed over its Rovi block as the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq disrupted operations.
Chevron has a stake in the Sarta and Qara Dagh blocks, the latter located in the province of Sulaimani. It does not currently have any production from the Kurdistan Region.
The sources, however, said Chevron still considered the region a focus for growth in the future.
On Monday, Russian state-sponsored Rosneft reasserted its commitments to the Kurdistan Region and announced that it will invest in natural gas pipelines in the Region.
The Russian oil giant had engaged in talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) earlier in June to discuss the possibility of oil exploration and extraction in fields currently under the Kurdistan Regional Government’s administration.
The Region is heading for a historic vote on Sep. 25 where it will decide whether to remain a part of Iraq or secede as a newly-established independent state.