Federal forces have regained control of the city of Kirkuk and the oil fields around it. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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International oil companies operating in the autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq are no strangers to political instability or difficult operating environments.Shares in Genel Energy, the London-listed company until recently chaired by Tony Hayward, the former BP boss, gained 93 per cent in the first nine months of the year. Oslo-listed shares in DNO of Norway, a fellow Kurdish oil producer, rose almost 43 per cent and the FTSE All-Share Oil and Gas Producers' Index was down 5 per cent over the period.Nonetheless, shares in Genel have dropped 22 per cent since September 22, the last full trading day before the vote.The oil companies are trying to steer clear of the political tensions. As of two years ago, KRG payments to oil companies have been regular. In August, Genel and DNO reached agreement with the KRG to settle missed payments. Nevertheless, investors remain jittery about threats that oil exports from the KRG could be curtailed, said Mr Stanton.On Thursday, Rosneft, Russia's state-controlled oil company, vowed to push ahead with oil projects in Kurdistan and said it could take up to a 60 per cent stake in the KRG oil pipeline.
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