Rockets target US oil company site in southern Iraq

No damage or casualties reported after projectiles land near site of oilfield service company Halliburton in Basra.

FILE PHOTO: Flames emerge from flare stacks at Nahr Bin Umar oil field, north of Basra, Iraq March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani/File Photo
Monday's attack was the first since last summer to target US oil companies working in the oil-rich south [File: Essam Al-Sudani/[Reuters]

At least three rockets have hit near the site of an American oilfield service company in southern Iraq without causing any damage or casualties

The rockets targeted the site of Halliburton in the Burjesia area in oil-rich Basra province, the Iraqi military said in a statement on Monday. 

Two Iraqi security officials and one at the state-run Basra Oil Company, which oversees oil operations in the south, said five rockets struck the area. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

A rocket launcher was subsequently found on the Zubair-Shuaiba road by security forces, according to the military, with 11 unused missiles that were later defused.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Police said they deployed additional forces to search the area.

An Iraqi employee working with Halliburton said the rockets fell far from the site.

The district houses foreign oil workers and offices of both foreign and Iraqi oil companies, but has been largely empty in recent weeks after the evacuation of nearly all foreign personnel because of the coronavirus crisis.

Two officials with Basra Oil Company said the attack had not affected production or export operations.

Oil facilities targeted

Halliburton is an American oil service provider working in the Zubair oilfield, which is operated by the Italian energy company ENI, or Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi.

Monday’s attack was the first since last summer to target US oil companies working in the oil-rich south.

A rocket struck an oil-drilling site in Basra last June, landing inside a compound housing energy giant Exxon Mobil, Shell and ENI. Three local workers were wounded in that attack.

US workers were evacuated from the site after it was hit.

Iran-backed paramilitary groups have regularly been rocketing and shelling bases in Iraq – which host US forces – and the area around the US Embassy in Baghdad.

Source: News Agencies