A view of the Kawergosk Refinery, some 20 kilometres east of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on July 14, 2014.
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Marc Kolber, a native of Long Island, has spent more than three years overseeing the construction of offices for foreign oil companies in Iraqi Kurdistan.Iraq's Kurdistan region has attracted hundreds of foreigners in the past five years, enticed by a mixture of oil, security and growing prosperity. The autonomous region, largely free from the violence that's plagued the rest of the country, has some of largest untapped oil fields in the world.Oil companies including Chevron Corp. and Afren Plc have evacuated expatriate staff and halted drilling operations.More than 20 international oil companies have come to Kurdistan since the U.S. invasion in 2003 .First came small companies willing to take a gamble, then giants like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron followed.Before this month's violence, the Kurds forecast oil production would jump from 400,000 barrels a day this year to 1 million barrels a day in 2015 .
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