UK-based BP is monitoring the security situation in Iraq amid rising tensions in the region, but has no immediate plans to evacuate staff, according to a source close to the company.

BP in Iraq 2019

“BP is not evacuating staff and will continue to monitor the situation,” the source said.

The US government has approved the deployment of a Patriot missile defence battery and an extra warship to the region amid increasing tensions between the US and Iran.

It said the deployments of additional military hardware to the region came in response to “heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations”.

ExxonMobile, Chevron

US-based oil company ExxonMobil evacuated around 60 staff from the West Qurna-1 field in Basra over 17 and 18 May.

Prior to ExxonMobil’s evacuation, Washington sent non-essential staff home from the US embassy in Baghdad. Washington said the evacuation was due to a security alert caused by threats from Iran.

ExxonMobil has a long-term contract to improve the West Qurna-1 field.

The Iraqi government was critical of ExxonMobil’s decision to evacuate staff, with Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban calling the move “unacceptable and unjustified”.

US-based oil company Chevron has also said that it is monitoring the security situation in Iraq. Chevron is currently operational in Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan.

It operates and has a 50 per cent interest in the Sarta production-sharing contract (PSC). The block covers an area of 90,000 net acres (363 square kilometres).

Chevron also has a 40 per cent interest in the 170,000 net acres (689 sq km) covered by the Qara Dagh PSC.

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