The Race to Tap The Next Gusher

Kurdistan is rich in oil resources, and the Kurds are ready to deal. But U.S. firms have been aced out by a small Norwegian outfit

For most of his life, Khadir has honed the occupation he learned as a child: fighting in the Kurdish militia against Saddam Hussein's forces. He has been jailed seven times since he was 14 and has seen a favorite uncle executed. Now, at 32, he is perfecting an entirely new skill, which could change this region as much as the wars in which he has fought have: drilling for oil. Since late November, he has toiled about 30 ft. aboveground on the first derrick erected in Kurdistan in decades, by a Norwegian outfit using a Chinese rig, of all things. From...

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