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ExxonMobil will sell its last remaining stake in Iraq’s West Qurna 1 oil field

The US oil and gas company ExxonMobil has signed agreements to transfer its remaining 22.7% stake in the 550 kb/d West Qurna 1 oil field, its last remaining upstream asset in Iraq, to the country’s state-owned Basra Oil Company (BOC). The Chinese oil company PetroChina, a partner in the consortium that exploits West Qurna 1, will take over as operator of the oil field. The sale is expected to close before the end of 2023.

West Qurna 1, located in the Basra Province (southern Iraq) was the only asset held by ExxonMobil in Iraq after it gave up its exploration blocks in the Kurdistan Region. The sale means that ExxonMobil will no longer retain an upstream presence in Iraq. In 2022, Indonesia’s state-owned oil and gas firm Pertamina already bought 10% of ExxonMobil’s stake in the oil field, increasing its share to 20%, while BOC bought 22.7% of the field.

West Qurna 1 is one of the world’s largest oilfields with recoverable reserves estimated at more than 20 Gbl. Iraq, which has total proved oil reserves standing at around 144 Gbl, produced 4,510 kb/d of crude oil and NGL in 2022.