Exxon sets deadline to exit West Qurna 1, prompting tough talks with Iraq

The Oil Ministry wants to replace Exxon with another American company, while Exxon has lined up two Chinese firms to buy its stake.
Exxon sets deadline to exit West Qurna 1, prompting tough talks with Iraq
Iraqi Drilling Company personnel drill a well at the West Qurna 1 field in Basra in May 2019. (Photo credit: Iraqi Drilling Company)

BASRA - ExxonMobil is attempting to sell its stake in the West Qurna 1 oil field to two Chinese companies, setting an end-April deadline that has prompted fraught negotiations with the Oil Ministry.

"They told us officially, with an official letter, referring to the contractual text... that ExxonMobil [is proceeding toward] selling its share to a coalition of the two companies, PetroChina and CNOOC," said Khalid Hamza Abbas, the director general of the Basra Oil Company (BOC), which is the Iraqi state company overseeing Basra's oil sector.

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