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Oil Companies--Some Run by Former Bush Officials--Make a Risky Move Into Kurdistan

5 April 2010 9:48 AM, PDT | Fast Company | See recent Fast Company news »

Photograph by Dan Winters

An Iraqi Kurdish soldier stands guard at the Tawke oil field in the Dohuk province of Iraqi Kurdistan. | Photograph by Muhannad Fala'ah/Getty Images

In their haste to tap Kurdish reserves, dozens of oil companies -- several fronted by former Bush officials -- have undercut U.S. policy and fanned sectarian tensions in Iraq. They may also lose a fortune.

Map by Mike Reagan

Infographic: Combustible 

The Tawke oil field, just south of Iraq's mountainous border with Turkey, is a bare, windblown patch of hills in one of the Middle East's most isolated corners.

Three hundred miles north of Baghdad, it is also four hours by road from the nearest international airfield and hundreds of miles from the nearest seaport. But on April 12, 2005, more than 100 dignitaries from around the world trooped up to this bleak turf to observe a bit of history. One year earlier, a »

- Joshua Hammer

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