The North Oil Company of Iraq lost a high-level staff member Monday evening when a group of unidentified militants gunned him down in Kirkuk, according to a police official quoted by Rudaw.
“At around 7pm tonight, a number of unidentified gunmen fired on Ahmed Abid Mutlak, head of the mechanic department from the North Oil Company,” the source said, noting that “the reason for killing Mutlak remains unknown.”
So far, no terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Rudaw’s source added that the “gunmen fled to an unknown place using a Toyota Camry vehicle.”
A police investigation is ongoing, though no arrests related to the murder have been made.
The NOC is a state-run oil company operated by the Iraqi Oil Ministry. It controls production in the Kirkuk, Nineveh, Erbil, Baghdad and Diyala provinces and also works in parts of HIlla and Kut.
The Oil Ministry reported 98.3 million barrels or $3.822 billion of oil exports for the month of September on Saturday – slightly lower than August’s figures.
September represents the first full month that the North Oil Company enjoyed full control of the Kirkuk oil field, without any major issues with the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Baghdad and Erbil have agreed to split oil revenues from Kirkuk 50-50 at least until the end of 2016.
The two governments had difficulty agreeing on the terms of oil exportation contracts before they struck a deal weeks ahead of the Mosul offensive.
Iraq, the second largest oil-producing member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia, produces 4.6 million barrels of crude oil every day. Most of the supplies come from operations in the southern portion of the country, which are run under the South Oil Company.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…