Hydrocarbon Exploration Block in Iraq
Context: Indian government is looking at resuming operations of state-run ONGC Videsh Ltd’s (OVL) hydrocarbon exploration block in Iraq, which has been under force majeure since 2003.
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- ‘Block 20’, earlier known as Block 8, is a large on-land exploration block in the Western Desert of Iraq.
- OVL had acquired 100% stake in the block by signing the exploration and development contract in November 2000, However, force majeure was declared in 2003 amid security concerns.
- Force majeure is a contract clause that removes liability for catastrophic events, such as natural disasters and warfare.
- Location: Iraq is located in Western Asia.
- Borders: Iraq shares borders with several countries:
- Turkey to the north
- Iran to the east
- The Persian Gulf and Kuwait to the southeast
- Saudi Arabia to the south
- Jordan to the southwest
- Syria to the west
- Capital and Important Cities: The capital and largest city of Iraq is Baghdad.
- Other important cities in Iraq include: Mosul, Al Basrah, Kirkuk, Al Najaf.
- Geographical Features: Iraq encompasses various geographical features, including:
- The Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain
- The northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range
- The eastern part of the Syrian Desert
- Rivers: Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, flow through Iraq. They converge near the Persian Gulf in the Shatt al-Arab.
- Climate: Hot arid climate with subtropical influences.