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PetroChina takes control of Iraqi oilfield from ExxonMobil

PetroChina now operates West Qurna 1 oilfield in Basra, Iraq, one of the world's largest oilfields Reuters/Mohammed Aty
PetroChina now operates West Qurna 1 oilfield in Basra, Iraq, one of the world's largest oilfields

US energy giant ExxonMobil Corp has officially exited the West Qurna 1 oilfield in Iraq, handing over its operations to Chinese oil and gas major PetroChina as lead contractor.

“We are meeting today to bid farewell to ExxonMobil, and at the same time we congratulate PetroChina for becoming the lead contractor,” Basim Mohammed, deputy oil minister for upstream affairs, told Reuters.

PetroChina, a unit of China National Petroleum Corporation, already holds nearly 33 percent stake in West Qurna 1, Upstream Online said.

Iraq’s state-run Basra Oil Company signed a sale agreement to purchase 22.7 percent of ExxonMobil’s stake in West Qurna 1 last year. Indonesia’s state-owned Pertamina bought the remaining 10 percent of Exxon’s stake, increasing its share to 20 percent.

West Qurna 1, one of the world’s largest oilfields with recoverable reserves estimated at more than 20 billion barrels, produces 550,000 barrels per day (bpd), the minister added.

Iraq and PetroChina plan to boost production to 600,000 bpd at the end of 2024, the report said, adding Exxon will have no presence in Iraq’s energy sector following its exit from West Qurna 1.

However, Mohammed stated that the government was open to inviting ExxonMobil to develop future energy projects.

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