Iraqi officials have been keenly discussing plans by BP to establish a “structured entity” with its partner CNPC to get the 1.45mn b/d Rumaila oilfield off its books, a senior source tells MEES.

Although Baghdad seems to “not mind” the move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, in the short term, rumors that the plans would see Chinese state firm CNPC slowly take over full operatorship through the new joint venture have Iraqi officials fearing a “quiet and gradual exit” by the British major. This comes as the dispute with US major ExxonMobil over the planned sale of its stake at West Qurna-1 (WQ-1) to CNPC and counterpart CNOOC is still ongoing (MEES, 21 May). (CONTINUED - 1532 WORDS)