In a letter dated 13 May sent to Exxon Mobil’s Iraq subsidiary and seen by MEES, Iraq’s Ministry of Oil informed the American giant that it does “not see a need” for Exxon’s partners (CNPC 32.7%, Itochu 19.6%, Pertamina 10%, Iraq state Oil Exploration Co. 5%) to “consent” to Basra Oil Company’s purchase of Exxon’s 32.7% stake in the 470,000 b/d capacity West Qurna (WQ-1) oilfield. The Ministry and BOC do “not agree” to the terms reached between Exxon, CNPC and CNOOC, the letter adds.

Exxon in January triggered a 90-day exit mechanism from its technical service contract (TSC) by sending a letter notifying the Ministry of its decision to sell 12.7% of WQ-1 to CNPC (taking the latter’s stake to 45.4%) and its remaining 20% to CNOOC (MEES, 23 April). Bloomberg reported last year that the sale could be worth as much as $500mn. Countering, Iraq offered to purchase the stake ‘in-kind’ and assign it to BOC in a letter sent earlier this month (MEES, 7 May). (CONTINUED - 393 WORDS)