Exxon, PetroChina courted for oil and water deal

Iraq's Oil Ministry is hoping ExxonMobil and CNPC will either fund or takeover a crucial water pipeline project, with an oil deal as payment.
A worker adjusts the valve of an oil pipe at the West Qurna 1 oilfield in Basra on Nov. 28, 2010. (ATEF HASSAN/Reuters)

ISTANBUL - The Oil Ministry is offering a deal for two oil fields to ExxonMobil and PetroChina in an effort to jumpstart a long-delayed, multi-billion dollar water project necessary to maintain pressure in more than a half dozen vital oil fields in southern Iraq.

Exxon was once involved in the Common Seawater Supply Project (CSSP) – from 2009-2011 it was slated to lead a consortium of foreign oil companies to manage the project – though disputes over cost estimates and Exxon's 2011 contracts with Iraqi Kurdistan scuttled the negotiations.

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