May 4, 2021 | oil and gas

Iraq plans to buy Exxon Mobil Corp's stake in prized oil field

Development of Iraq's Mansuriya gas field on the coast near the Iranian border is expected to cost $2.1bln, Iraqi oil minister said

Iraq's oil minister, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, said that the country is considering the purchase of Exxon Mobil Corp's stake in the southern West Qurna 1 oilfield.

According to the minister, if Baghdad does buy Exxon's 32.7 percent stake in the southern Iraqi oilfield, which is among the largest in the world, it is most likely to do so via state-owned Basra Oil Co.

Exxon became a lead contractor for West Qurna-1 in 2010. The field used to be considered as a marquee asset in the oil industry. According to a Bloomberg report, the oilfield lost its appeal in recent years due to rigid contractual terms, payment delays, OPEC production cuts and political instability.

Iraq is OPEC's second-biggest oil producer. The minister who was addressing a press conference in Baghdad said that he expects oil prices to drop below $65 a barrel. However, lower oil prices should not be a concern after OPEC+ eases production cuts from May, he said.

Development of Iraq's Mansuriya gas field with China's Sinopec on the coast near the Iranian border is expected to cost $2.1 billion, the minister said.

According to a Bloomberg report in April, Exxon Mobil has put up the Iraq oilfield for sale to tackle its debt accumulated in 2020. Exxon is yet to comment on any potential sale.


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