Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) SOMO denied the withdrawal of employees of foreign oil companies operating in the southern oil fields because of the situation taking place in Iraq, while confirming its agreement with the local government in the provinces of Basra and Maysan to hire local labor.
On Friday the general manager of the Maysan Oil Company in southern Iraq, Ali al-Bahadli said in a statement that the news reported by some media on the withdrawal of foreign personnel from the fields of the province is completely untrue, affirming that the cadres of foreign oil companies were operating normally and did not get any withdrawal.
Bahadli considered this news as part of psychological warfare used by armed elements, warning some satellite channels of “spreading false news aimed at disturbing public opinion and harming the morale of Iraqis who are fighting a holy war against terrorism”. He vowed to “prosecute the channels that support terrorism,” according to the source.
In the same vein, the Southern Oil Company announced its agreement with the local government in Basra on the employment of local labor from areas along the oil fields exclusively, denying that it had stopped production at the Zubair oil field.
The Iraqi government says that about 100,000 policeman are standing on high alert and well armed to protect oil installations. The oil companies do not run the risk when it comes to the employees of foreign experts, who have become the prime target of armed groups such as ISIL and organized criminals who have taken control over a number of oil-rich cities.
On Wednesday June 18, IraqiNews.com had reported on the evacuation of ExxonMobil and BP staff.