ExxonMobil has officially exited the West Qurna 1 oilfield in southern Iraq and transferred operations to PetroChina, reported Reuters, citing Iraq’s deputy oil minister.
Senior officials from the Iraqi oil industry and executives from Exxon, PetroChina, and Basra Oil Company (BOC) convened at the West Qurna 1 field near Basra to formalise Exxon’s departure and the transition of its operations to PetroChina.
PetroChina now owns the biggest share in the oilfield after Exxon’s exit.
In an interview, Iraq’s Deputy Oil Minister for Upstream Affairs, Basim Mohammed, said: “We are meeting today to bid farewell to ExxonMobil, and at the same time we congratulate PetroChina for becoming the lead contractor.”
Last year, Iraq’s state-run BOC acquired a 22.7% share of Exxon’s stake in West Qurna 1, while Indonesia’s Pertamina increased its stake to 20% by purchasing the remaining 10% of Exxon’s interest.
The final settlement reached between Iraq’s oil ministry and the US oil and gas company has served the interests of both parties, said Mohammed, without providing further details of the settlement.
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Currently, West Qurna 1 is producing approximately 550,000 barrels per day (bpd).
The oilfield is believed to be one of the world’s largest, with recoverable reserves estimated to exceed 20 billion barrels.
Citing the head of BOC, the report said Iraq and PetroChina aim to increase production to 600,000bpd by the end of 2024.
This move marks the end of Exxon’s presence in Iraq’s energy sector.
However, Iraqi government officials, including the deputy oil minister, have expressed interest in inviting Exxon to participate in future energy projects within the country.