The Race to Tap The Next Gusher

For most of his life, Khadir honed the occupation he learned as a child: fighting in the Kurdish militia against Saddam Hussein's forces. He was jailed seven times since the age of 14 and saw a favorite uncle executed. Now, at 32, he is perfecting an entirely new skill that could change this region as much as have the wars in which he has fought: drilling for oil. Since late November, he has toiled about 9 m aboveground on the first derrick erected in Kurdistan in decades — by a Norwegian outfit using a Chinese rig, of all things....

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