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Iraq considering buying Exxon stake in West Qurna 1 oilfield

Iraq is considering buying ExxonMobil’s stake in the southern West Qurna 1 oilfield through the state-owned Basra Oil Company, the country’s oil minister said on Monday.

The oil ministry is discussing BOC “taking ownership of the Exxon stake in West Qurna 1 and leading the project, as happened with Majnoon,” Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told a news conference, referring to the huge Majnoon oilfield in Iraq’s south.

Iraq said last month that ExxonMobil was seeking to sell its 32.7 per cent stake in the West Qurna 1 field, and that the oil ministry had started discussions with US oil companies over a possible purchase.

ExxonMobil did not respond to a request for comment.

Abdul Jabbar also said at the news conference that the development of Iraq’s Mansuriya gas field on the coast near the Iranian border is expected to cost $2.1 billion.

China’s Sinopec last month won a deal to develop the field in partnership with Iraq’s state-run Midland Oil Company.

Abdul Jabbar added that he does not expect oil prices to drop below $65 a barrel and that lower oil prices should not be a concern after Opec+ eases production cuts from May.

As a part of its drive to boost gas production, Iraq plans to invest $3 billion in the Basra Gas Company over the next five years to increase its production capacity by 40 per cent to 1.4 billion cubic feet (bcf) a day, said Abdul Jabbar.

Basra Gas Company is a joint venture between state-owned South Gas Company, Shell and Mitsubishi.
Source: Reuters

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