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Hess, Petroceltic to Explore Two Iraqi Fields in Kurdistan

Hess Corp., the New York-based oil company, and Petroceltic International Plc agreed to explore two fields in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

The two companies signed a production-sharing agreement for the Dinarta and Shakrok blocks with the Kurdistan Regional Government, Dublin-based Petroceltic said in a statement today. Both blocks will be operated by Hess, with Petroceltic and the KRG each taking a 20 percent interest.

Iraq resumed oil exports from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region earlier this year, ending a yearlong halt caused by a dispute over oil revenue between local authorities and Baghdad. Kurdistan has attracted more than $10 billion in energy investments from more than 40 companies from 17 countries, Regional Government Prime Minister Barham Salih said on May 5.

“These highly prospective blocks add further high-impact exploration potential to our portfolio,” Petroceltic’s Chief Executive Officer Brian O’Cathain said in a statement. “While significant discoveries have already been made, the Kurdistan region of Iraq remains a vastly under-explored area with huge potential.”

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