Iran takes over Iraq oil well

NASIRIYAH: Iranian forces have taken control of a southern Iraqi oil well in a disputed section of the border on Friday, a US military spokesman told AFP.

"There has been no violence related to this incident and we trust this will be resolved through peaceful diplomacy between the governments of Iraq and Iran," the spokesman told AFP at Contingency Operating Base Adder, just outside the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah.

"The oil field is in disputed territory in between Iranian and Iraqi border forts," he said, adding that such incidents occur quite frequently.

The Iranian forces occupied Well 4 in the Fauqa Field, part of a cluster of fields Iraq unsuccessfully put up for auction to oil majors in June. The field has estimated reserves of 1.55 million barrels.

Iran has prevented Iraqi oil officials from reaching the well, located east of the city of Amara, according to an oil industry source. The Iraqis have accused Iran of firing on their people, something Tehran has denied.

There have been a number of meetings in recent years aimed at reaching agreement on border fields, so far without success.