Sep 14 2013
By Fareed Hassan
Azzaman, September 14, 2013
The inhabitants of two Kurdish villagessay U.S. energy giant Chevron has not honored promises to improve living conditions in their areas and supply them with service projects.
Hundreds of villagers demonstrated against the firm which had signed an exploration oil deal in the area of Bardarash in the Kurdish Province of Dahouk.
The villagers say they will not allow Chevron to start drilling oil wells in their areas unless it meets their demands.
Two villages, close to where Chevron is to start drilling, have been involved in the protest. Their inhabitants say they have given the company an ultimatum.
“The demonstrators have given Chevron one month to implement utility projects in the villages and in the event of the firm failing to honor its promises we shall prevent it from carrying out its activities in our areas,” said Riyadh Muhideen, who speaks for the demonstrators.
The two villages are part of the district of Bardarash, the center of an agricultural plateau of the same name.
The area is reported to be holding billions of barrels of proven oil reserves.
Muhideen said representatives from Chevron held meetings with the villagers but no agreement has been reached.
He urged Kurdish regional government, which granted Chevron the deal to develop oil in Bardarash, to pressure the company to meet the villagers’ demands.
The villagers want Chevron to construct a road linking the two villages with each other and the surrounding areas, as well as the building of a sports stadium and a community center.
They want priority in jobs to be given to those living in villages close to the oil wells Chevron will be developing.
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