Iraq to buy Exxon Mobil stake in a major oil field

The field is one of the largest in Iraq and Exxon's stake could be worth as much as $350 million, according to media reports.

Iraq has said it plans to buy Exxon Mobil’s stake in one of the country’s biggest oilfields. AFP

Iraq's cabinet on Wednesday approved plans to buy the US energy giant Exxon Mobil’s stake in one of the country’s biggest oilfields, the country's oil minister said.

In a statement, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said the Iraqi National Oil Company will purchase Exxon Mobil's share in the West Qurna 1 field in the southern province of Basra.

Mr Abdul Jabbar did not provide further details.

Earlier last year, Iraq formally informed Exxon Mobil of its plans to buy the company's shares in the field. The site is one of the largest in Iraq and state-run Basra Oil Company director Khalid Hamza told Reuters last year that Exxon was looking to sell its 32.7 per cent stake for at least $350 million.

The field had a production capacity of close to 500,000 barrels per day in 2021, according to Iraqi officials.

In 2020, Exxon Mobil's staff left the country after the US assassination of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad. They returned a few months later.

Foreign interest in developing fields in southern Iraq has fallen as Iraq along with other top producers curbs output to support prices and as a result of tension between the United States and Iran, which has close ties to Iraqi Shiite militias. - Additional reporting by Reuters

Updated: January 6th 2022, 2:33 AM