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Halliburton
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Middle East - AP
Halliburton Gets Iraq Firefighting Nod
Wed Mar 26, 4:22 AM ET

HOUSTON - A unit of Houston-based oilfield services giant Halliburton Co. will organize the oil well firefighting and rehabilitation effort in Iraq (news - web sites) just as it did after the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites), officials said.

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Related Quotes
HAL
WEL
DJIA
NASDAQ
^SPC
20.69
1.02
8229.88
1387.45
869.95
+0.03
-0.14
-50.35
-3.56
-4.79

delayed 20 mins - disclaimer
Quote Data provided by Reuters
 

The value of the contract was not disclosed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday gave Kellogg Brown & Root the go-ahead to implement the Defense Department's plan to extinguish oil well fires in Iraq and repair the damage.

Halliburton was led by now-Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) before he resigned in 2000 to join the Republican presidential ticket.

Halliburton subcontractors Boots & Coots International Well Control Inc. and Wild Well Control Inc., both also from Houston, will handle the firefighting chores.

However, unease around the oil fields in the far southeastern corner of Iraq have delayed the beginning of work the last two days, officials said.

Halliburton oversaw the firefighting efforts on 320 wells in Kuwait after retreating Iraqi troops set fires in 1991. Firefighting companies extinguished 90 percent of the fires within a year, far ahead of the 18-month schedule.

The contract was initially disclosed at the end of a Defense Department statement on preparation for the possibility that Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s regime might destroy Iraq's oil fields in case of war with the U.S.-led coalition.

Analysts believe the wells may need significant work even if they aren't sabotaged. Daily production has slid from 3.5 million barrels per day in 1979 to about 2 million barrels per day, partly due to United Nations (news - web sites) sanctions that banned import of equipment.

Iraq's proven oil reserves are second only to those of Saudi Arabia.

In trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange (news - web sites), Halliburton shares rose 54 cents, 2.7 percent, to $20.66.


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Next Story: U.S. Paratroopers Land in Northern Iraq  (AP)

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· British Desert Rats enter outskirts of Basra  (AFP)

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