Iraq’s oil sector, both in the south and in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), is set for period of consolidation. In the South, ExxonMobil is seeking a buyer for its 2.825mn b/d West Qurna-1 project and there is also pressure on Total and Russian state firm Gazprom, both of whom recently invested in the KRG, to divest from their stakes in federal areas. In the KRG, companies, including a potential Turkish state firm, are looking to invest, with a marked trend towards larger companies pushing out smaller operators.

UK independent Sterling Energy announced that it is looking to farm out on its troubled Sangaw North block, soon after Korea’s KNOC sold out its minority share (MEES, 9 November). Meanwhile, Canada’s Niko Resources is relinquishing its Qara Dagh Block and leaving the KRG. And on 9 November, KRG focused Anglo-Turkish independent Genel Energy announced it was buying out Heritage Oil’s remaining 49% stake in the Miran wet gas block. Heritage, one of the first western investors in the KRG’s oil sector with a Heads of Agreement dating back to September 2005, had been eyeing a 500-750mn cfd development for Miran. (CONTINUED - 350 WORDS)