Shell hands over Iraq’s Majnoon oilfield

Iraqi oil officials met on Wednesday to mark the complete exit of the multinational and the handover of operations

Royal Dutch Shell has exited the Majnoon oilfield in southern Iraq and handed over its operations to the state-run Basra Oil Company, two Iraqi oil officials close to the deal said on Wednesday.

Officials from Shell and Basra Oil met on Wednesday to mark the complete exit of Shell and the handover of operations.

“The handing-over process was smooth and without any issues,” said one Iraqi oil official after the meeting.

Shell has said it plans to focus on developing its gas joint venture in Iraq. Shell also sold its stake in West Qurna 1 to Japan’s Itochu Corp.

On April 5, the Iraqi oil ministry signed a two-year contract with Anton Oilfield Services and Petrofac to operate the giant Majnoon oilfield on behalf of Basra Oil Company.

Crude oil output from Majnoon is now about 235,000 barrels per day and Iraq plans to boost output to 450,000bpd in three years, oil officials said.

“Shell’s exit will not have any effect on production operations and we can increase output without any hurdles,” said another Iraqi oil official who is part of Majnoon’s operation team.

Iraq, Opec’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, is producing about 4.4 million bpd, below its capacity, in line with global supply cuts led by Opec aimed at supporting prices and reducing oversupply.