PUK and KDP forces confront each other over Kirkuk oilfields

July 26, 2017 at 4:06 pm

PUK Black Force in Qawtan village where Bai Hassan oilfields are located (photograph: exclusive to Kirkuknow, 25 July 2017, )

Kurdish forces from rival parties seeking more control of oilfields in Kirkuk areas faced each other last night raising more tension in the region where Islamic State maintains still control large parts of the province.

A senior intelligence source in Kirkuk who did not want to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter said “A force from the the Patriotic union of Kurdistan (PUK) moved to Qawtan on Tuesday  (25 July) carrying PKC and DsHK machine guns as a result the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) moved its forces to the area and faced the PUK forces.” The source stated that the matter is due to party politics and it is over control of the oilfields in the area in Kirkuk.

Qawtan village is in between Kirkuk city and Dibs district and the Kurdish oil and gas force was stationed there in the summer of 2014 when the Iraqi army withdrew following Isis attacks.

Another source familiar with the matter said that the PUK wants to station its forces there to control the oilfields but the KDP wants to control the area.

Bai Hassan and Avana oilfields are located in the Dibs district in northwest of Kirkuk and produce 150,000 bpd which is exported to Ceyhan port in Turkey.

Kirkuknow contacted the officials of the KDP and the PUK but they were not available for comments and the Dibs mayor was also not prepared to speak about the confrontation stating “the area is a military zone.”

General Sarhad Qader of the district and subdistricts police in Kirkuk said that he would not speak about the issue because the matter was ‘political.”

In March the PUK deployed another force known as the ‘Black Force’ to control the oil wells of North Oil Company in order to pressure the central government and insisting that the oil ministry in Baghdad should deliver on its promise of building a refinery in Kirkuk.

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