South Korea’s government owned oil company, KNOC, said they are planning to pull out of their oil exploration project in Kurdistan, despite spending 8 years developing the fields and losing US$130 million. The reason to withdraw from the region was cited as lack of profitability. KNOC signed a product sharing agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government in 2008 and used operators, Sangaw South in Kurdistan with a 60% stake in the oil reserves.
Iraq had previously announced they had the third-largest oil reserves in the world also claiming a majority of the reserves were yet to be explored. However, after further exploration and investigation there was a reduction in projected reserves and therefore operators and international oil companies started to pull out of the region.