02 October 2014, News Wires – London-listed explorer Afren has started to return staff to its Barda Rash field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq following a recent withdrawal as Islamic State militants swept across the area.
Staffing levels are being returned to normal with a view to resuming drilling and production operations at the field “as soon as possible”, the company said on Thursday.
Afren expects operations to be fully resumed by the end of the month.
The company revealed in early August that it had started pulling field staff out of Barda Rash as a “temporary and precautionary step” due to security concerns in the region.
“Afren’s primary consideration is the safety and wellbeing of employees,” it said on Thursday.
“The decision to resume full operations at Barda Rash has been made following a close monitoring of the situation and in close consultation with the relevant authorities.”
Operations at the Ain Sifni field, which is operated by Hunt Oil, are already fully resumed.
Numerous international oil companies pulled staff out of fields in northern Iraq at the end of the summer as Islamic State fighters spread from the centre and east of Iraq to seize key positions, before expanding their operations to Syria.
Most have now moved staff back into the fields and resumed operations.