China’s CNPC has agreed to purchase 25% of Iraq’s giant 2.825mn b/d West Qurna-1 field development from ExxonMobil for an undisclosed sum, MEES has confirmed. The deal, which is subject to Iraqi cabinet approval, would make the Chinese state-owned titan one of the biggest stakeholders in the Basra oil basin, while reducing US super major ExxonMobil’s West Qurna-1 stake to a mere 25% (if recent Reuters reports of Exxon selling 10% to Indonesian state firm Pertamina prove correct). CNPC will overtake Shell’s 15% in the project. Iraqi state-owned South Oil Company (SOC) holds the remaining 25%.

“Yes, we have taken a 25% stake in West Qurna-1,” a CNPC source tells MEES, adding that the agreement with ExxonMobil is contingent on Baghdad’s approval. The deal would mark the US giant’s first ever tie-up with a Chinese state firm. (CONTINUED - 2733 WORDS)