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Tue 29 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Iraq is 'highest priority' for Crescent

Crescent Petroleum boss says that Iraq is the company's highest priority.

Abdulla Al-Qadi, director of Crescent Petroleum's upstream operations, told delegates at a recent Dubai congress that Iraq is Crescent's highest priority.

Speaking at the Global Oil and Gas Expansion Congress in May, Al-Qadi said sectarian conflict in the south of the country had caused investors to think negatively about the more prosperous Kurdistan region.

"Northern Iraq, and Kurdistan in particular, is more secure than areas like southern Sudan, Nigeria and Colombia, yet these areas are not given the same negative press," said Al-Qadi. "The government of Kurdistan has control over security issues there. They have an obvious police presence."

He also observed that foreign firms have been operating in Kurdistan for three years without incident. But, he said, Crescent would not take security lightly.

"When considering our operations in Kurdistan, security is in a category by itself. It is the number one priority," he said. "The region is much safer than most people would anticipate. But even so we have assigned a security advisor in Kurdistan to manage all the security issues."

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