In a significant development, ExxonMobil Corp has formally concluded its operations in the West Qurna 1 oilfield located in southern Iraq, officially transferring control to PetroChina as the lead contractor. Senior Iraqi oil officials convened with executives from ExxonMobil, PetroChina, and Basra Oil Co on Monday at the West Qurna 1 field near Basra to commemorate Exxon’s complete exit and the subsequent handover of operational responsibilities to PetroChina.
Basim Mohammed, the Deputy Oil Minister for Upstream Affairs, stated in an interview at the field, “We are meeting today to bid farewell to ExxonMobil, and at the same time, we congratulate PetroChina for becoming the lead contractor.” PetroChina now holds the largest stake in the field following Exxon’s departure.
Last year according to Reuters, Iraq finalized a sale agreement to acquire 22.7% of ExxonMobil’s stake in West Qurna 1 through Iraq’s state-run Basra Oil Co. Concurrently, Indonesia’s state-owned Pertamina purchased the remaining 10% of Exxon’s stake, boosting its overall share to 20%.
The settlement between Iraq’s oil ministry and Exxon, recently finalized, has been deemed mutually beneficial, according to Mohammed. West Qurna 1, one of the world’s largest oilfields with recoverable reserves exceeding 20 billion barrels, currently produces approximately 550,000 barrels per day (bpd).
Iraq, in collaboration with PetroChina, aims to increase production to 600,000 bpd by the end of 2024, as announced by the head of Basra Oil Co. With the conclusion of its operations in West Qurna 1, ExxonMobil will no longer have a presence in Iraq’s energy sector, according to officials from Basra Oil Co.
While Exxon exits West Qurna 1, Mohammed emphasized the government’s interest in inviting ExxonMobil to participate in future energy projects as Iraq looks to further develop its energy sector.