News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF) While the independent production and sale of oil remains a point of pride for South Kurdistan, oil companies are doing great harm to the environment without any form of control. Semed Husên, the President of the Kurdistan Regional Environmental Regulation and Protection Commission, recently explained that the work of international oil companies carries great risk for the local environment.
There are over 50 oil companies currently operating in South Kurdistan in the areas of oil exploration and extraction, including the American firms Exxon Mobil and Chevron, the French firm Total, and the Russian Gazprom – all three of which rank among the 10 largest oil companies in the world. This year oil companies hope to reach a level of production on the order of one million barrels of oil per day.
According to a report in Basnews, Semed Husên warned about the implications of oil production for the environment at a recent press conference, saying “Oil companies are threatening the environment in the Kurdish region, because they are not taking sufficient precautions. This situation also has negative effects on the health of our citizens.” Husên went on to say that oil companies are cutting down trees and destroying green spaces in the process of oil exploration, and that they are not cleaning up spills and other waste.
Husên continued to stress the long-term negative implications of such practices, telling reporters “If oil companies continue to do harm to the environment in this manner, it will have a major effect on green spaces, underground water reservoirs, and human health.”
According to the Climate Change Journal, companies such as Chevron and Exxon were ranked at the top of a list of the world’s 100 worst polluters.