Two engineers killed in attack on Iraq gas field

Gunmen killed two Iraqi engineers, wounded a third and kidnapped another in an attack on a camp near a gas field run by a South Korean firm in Iraq's western desert, officials said on Tuesday.

The attack on the camp, for workers contracted by KOGAS to work on the Akkaz field, occurred at around 10:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Monday, according to Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed al-Khafaji, the chief of police in the town of Qaim on the Iraq-Syria border.

Mustafa Shawqi, a doctor at Qaim's hospital, confirmed the casualty toll.

Iraqi officials have often expressed concerns over growing instability along Iraq's border with conflict-hit Syria, with concerns rife over reports of the increased presence of Sunni militants linked to Al-Qaeda on both sides of the frontier.

The Akkaz gas field, with estimated reserves of 158.6 billion cubic metres (5.6 trillion cubic feet), was discovered in 1992.

In November 2010, Baghdad awarded the development project to a joint bid from Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGas and the Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) but the Kazakh firm pulled out months later.

Iraq eventually inked a contract with KOGAS to develop the field in October 2011.

Crude oil sales account for the lion's share of government revenues and Iraq currently exports around 2.5 million barrels per day, but it is seeking to raise its gas production in order to boost power generation and cement its role as a global energy supplier.