Talks advance for Exxon to exit West Qurna 1

ExxonMobil is aiming to sell its stake to two buyers, Pertamina and Iraq’s state-run BOC, leaving PetroChina to take over as operator.
A worker adjusts the valve of an oil pipe at the West Qurna 1 oilfield in Basra on Nov. 28, 2010. (ATEF HASSAN/Reuters)

ExxonMobil is getting closer to exiting Iraq as it negotiates a two-part deal to sell its 32.7 percent stake in the West Qurna 1 oil field to Indonesia’s Pertamina and the state-run Basra Oil Company (BOC).

If it goes through, the sale would resolve a dispute that Exxon has taken to international arbitration. It would also strengthen China’s foothold in Iraq’s oil sector, since PetroChina, which currently holds a 32.7 percent non-operating stake in the project, would take over as operator.

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