US Consul praises US oil company for creating jobs in the Kurdistan Region
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – US Consul General Robert Palladino on Saturday praised the private energy company HKN Energy Ltd. for creating jobs in the Kurdistan Region during a visit to an oil facility operated by HKN in Chamanke Sub-district in the Duhok governorate where the company operates the Sarsang Oil Block.
“The United States believes strongly that it is the private sector that is the true engine for growth,” he said. “When I hear that there are 450 jobs that are being created right here, locally, directly by HKN, and up to 2,200 jobs indirectly that have been created by HKN here, that is just so impressive.”
“And that is just the kind of thing partnership can bring and I am pleased to see the United States and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region partnering so closely to bring jobs, tangible benefits, improve the environment and make the great Kurdistan Region more energy secure.”
The US consul also visited a community centre and school that was renovated by HKN. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has earlier indicated that there are at least 500 schools in the Kurdistan Region that need renovation.
“I was just so impressed. These facilities are helping young children locally, providing both with their schooling and education, as well as providing the chance for classes and other youth services,” the US consul said.
“I know HKN is active elsewhere too both improving infrastructure, building roads. They've really brought a lot to the Duhok area up to $2 billion in investment, that is just so incredible. And, you know, the United States believes strongly that it's the private sector that's the true engine for growth.”
He also said that they are “working with our counterparts to develop a new plan that will capture more natural gas for domestic energy production and that will reduce environmental pollution.”
In July, the KRG gave oil companies a 18-months deadline to end gas flaring to stop environmental pollution, the Iraq Oil report earlier reported.
“I think that gas would complement the oil budget, and it would enable the economy to diversify towards the future, and that’s also something that our company (HKN Energy) here is helping the Kurdistan Region to look at is how to better diversify the economy away from oil and gas,” Dr. Matthew Zais, Vice President of Government Affairs for the HKN told Kurdistan 24 in May.
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The US official also underlined that the US is committed to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
“I just like to say that the United States is committed to the Kurdistan Region, and to Iraq. We want to see this region succeed. United States President Biden believes that the security of the Middle East is dependent upon the security of Iraq and the security of Iraq is upon the security of this great Kurdistan region,” US consul Palladino said.
"So, the United States is remaining in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and we are in this for the long haul."
“And energy security plays such an important part to our overall security, so that's why the United States is going to continue working to support great American companies like HKN.”
“In conclusion, I just want to say, the United States of America, and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, we're better together.”
Founded in 2007, Dallas-based HKN Energy Ltd. is a privately held, independent energy company with oil exploration and production operations in the Kurdistan Region.
It is currently focused on increasing production of its Sarsang Block, in the Duhok governorate, where it started exploration drilling in 2010 .
Currently, HKN produces from seven wells through three production facilities in two separate fields in the Kurdistan Region.