The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Minister of Natural Resources, Ashti Hawrami, has welcomed Marathon Oil Corporation's entry into the Kurdistan Region oil and gas sector, saying that such an experienced company will be “a valuable partner in developing the resources of our Region to the maximum benefit of the people of Kurdistan and Iraq, in line with our Constitutional obligations”.
Marathon, which is based in Houston in the United States, has acquired operating positions in four exploration blocks in the Kurdistan Region. Under production sharing contracts, the company has taken an 80 percent share in the Harir and Safeen blocks, northeast of Erbil. The KRG, through a public company, retains a fully carried 20 percent interest in both areas. Northwest of Erbil, Marathon has also acquired a 25 percent working interest in Sarsang block and 20 percent in the Atrush block. Marathon will open an office in the Kurdistan Region.
“The KRG is pleased that Marathon, one of the most prominent and well-respected oil companies in the United States, will soon be working in the Kurdistan Region, providing a vital contribution to the future wealth of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq,” Dr Hawrami said. “It presents an opportunity to build on the success we have already achieved in the hydrocarbons sector.”
Dr Hawrami predicted that more American companies would follow Marathon into the Kurdistan Region in the near future in the energy and other sectors. "The Kurdistan Region is a vibrant place to do business and it is a stepping stone for the rest of Iraq,” he said. “Companies such as Marathon bring with them advanced technologies and skills that will help build a modern, dynamic and sustainable oil and gas sector for Kurdistan and Iraq.”