Petroceltic evacuates workers from Kurdistan

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Oil and gas explorer Petroceltic has suspended operations in Kurdistan and will evacuate “non-essential” workers from the troubled region, the firm said today.

The announcement follows US air strikes at the weekend aimed at bolstering Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants in northern and western Iraq.

Petroceltic, which merged with Edinburgh-based Melrose Resources in 2012, said: “In conjunction with Hess Middle East New Ventures, our partner and the operator of our exploration activities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, we have been closely monitoring recent events in the region.

“While these developments have not directly impacted our exploration activities to date, in line with other operators in the region, it has been decided, as a precautionary measure, to temporarily secure and suspend operations – including the drilling of Shireen-1 exploration well in the Dinarta licence – and to evacuate non-essential personnel.”