Iraq purchases drones to protect oil infrastructure

American officials recently announced Iraq intends to purchase some of the unmanned drones commonly used by the U.S. military in an effort to better protect the country's oil production and transportation infrastructure, Reuters reports.

The deal, which was struck by Iraq's navy, was announced by the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq, and comes as the U.S. is preparing to pull out many of its remaining resources in the country. The Iraqi government took responsibility for protecting oil pipelines and related infrastructure in 2005, but the U.S. has since provided support, including aerial surveillance.

With the navy purchasing drones, the country is likely most concerned about the security of its offshore oil platforms, which provide a critical outlet to world markets.

Though no details were released on the specifics of the deal - including what kinds of drones, how many would be bought or at what price - the decision could raise some tensions because of associations between the devices and recent warfare. The New York Times reported in January that many in the country are still frustrated to see the drones patrolling the skies.

Oil production outlooks for Iraq are available at PennEnergy's Research area.

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