Iraq’s efforts to find a palatable replacement for US supermajor ExxonMobil at the 470,000 b/d capacity West Qurna-1 (WQ-1) oilfield are struggling to gain traction. The latest effort involved bringing in a consortium led by US oilfield services company Halliburton, but the move appears to be facing opposition from key state firm Basra Oil Company (BOC).

Ultimately if there is to be any progress then it will almost certainly have to wait until after the next Iraqi government is formed. Elections were held in October, but government formation is, as expected, proving to be a drawn out process (MEES, 15 October). (CONTINUED - 1044 WORDS)