Oil companies not rattled by Iraq upheaval

|By:, SA News Editor

Shares in oil explorers focused on northern Iraq tumble amid spreading violence, yet some oil execs express a perverse optimism that the semi-autonomous Kurdish region could gain more bargaining power with the Baghdad government over oil rights and government revenues.

Among oil majors, their Iraq holdings account for small portions of global output but development has been ongoing: BP has a 38% working interest in the Rumaila field in southern Iraq, Exxon (XOM) holds leases on ~900K acres and has development wells in the West Qurna field, Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) owns 45% and is operator of the Majnoon field in the south, Occidental Petroleum (OXY) is among the developers of the 4B-barrel Zubair field, and Chevron (CVX) holds an 80% stake and is operator of the development-stage Qara Dagh block in Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Among smaller producers, shares of Genel Energy (GEGYF) and Gulf Keystone (GUKYF) aren't showing big gains or losses, but DNO International (DTNOF) is ~5% lower.