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Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) Halts Iraqi Operations Over Violence

Boston, MA 08/11/2014 (wallstreetpr) – Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), a global integrated energy company run by John B. Hess as Chief Executive and Director, joins the list of oil companies that have had to suspend operations in Iraq’s Kurdish region as violence escalates.

The stock gained 2.13 percent on Friday to close at $99.92. It gained 1.37 percent for the whole of last week.

Partner announces suspension

According to a statement by Petroceltic, a minority partner of Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), the oil producer decided to stop oil-drilling activities as a precautionary measure. It has also evacuated some staff. Hess operates two blocks in Kurdistan region of Iraq namely Dinarta and Shakrok, in which Petroceltic owns 16 percent stake, and the government of the Kurdistan region owns 20 percent stake.

Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) and its partners had started well drilling in Dinarta block and Shireen-1 in June, and they hoped to start exploration work that was expected to last about five months. However, the violence caused by the Islamic militants could adversely impact the project.

With violence escalating in Kurdistan, several foreign oil companies operating in the region have announced suspension of operations and evacuation of non-essential staff as they retreat to assess the situation. However, the companies announcing temporary halt of operations in Kurdistan have not reported direct impact from the violence.

Besides Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), the other active oil companies in Kurdistan that have announced suspension of operations include Afren, Taqa, Talisman Energy Inc. (USA) (NYSE:TLM) and Oryx Petroleum.

Unloading assets

In addition to its vast international operations, Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) also has a stake in the oil-rich U.S. Utica region. It has sold some of its acreage in the region in the past quarters, earning $485 million from 30,000 acres and $924 million from 74,000 dry-gas acres.

However, the company also has plans to sell its retail gasoline operation by the end of this year, a move that would turn Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES) into an exploration and production pure play.

Published by Chris Brown

About Me: I have a Phd in Economics Gender: Male Interests: Playing games like cricket, volleyball Favorite Music: hip hop, rock, jazz

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