Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) made further advances in Northern Iraq today, capturing more towns and driving Kurdish forces back. Since the fresh attacks commenced over the weekend, ISIS forces have managed to gain a foothold in 15 towns, captured two oil refineries and the Mosul Dam.
Monday’s stance was reiterated by Kurdish officials, who denied reports that ISIS forces had seized control of the strategic dam, via which they can flood various cities in Northern Iraq. The latest advances made by ISIS fighters have reportedly displaced thousands of Christians from their hometowns.
The latest assaults by the militant forces saw major oil producers in Iraq lose their stock prices today. Gulf Keystone Petro (GUKYF) fell 11.63% to $1.14 to reach its 52-week low; Genel Energy Plc (GEGYF) slipped 10.81% to $13.9, also hitting its 52-week low. The Norway-based oil and gas exploration and production company, DNO ASA (ADR) (DTNOY) also observed its stock price decline by 9% to $26.71 in price as the security threat increases.
Gulf Keystone claims its assets and operations are safe; however it increased security measures at its site in Shaikan. Genel Energy, the largest independent oil producer in the country, also has its operations 60 miles off the fighting zone in Mosul. Oil companies had seen their stock prices decline on Monday too, when ISIS forces gained control of two oil fields. Chevron Corporation (CVX) today revealed that it has also reduced its personnel in Iraq, following the ISIS the seemingly unending violence spree.
The US State Department has recently issued a statement, saying the US government was “actively monitoring” the situation in Iraq, and would assist Iraqi and Kurdish forces in their defense against militant attacks. The worsening situation has impacted the overall energy sector, with the SPDR Energy Select Sector (ETF) (XLE) observing a decline of 0.64% to reach $95.01 at day end.