Exxon’s initial move into Iraqi Kurdistan threatened its relations with Baghdad, with the US firm holding a 32.7% stake in the West Qurna-1 field where capacity now stands at 470,000 b/d – although Exxon says processing capacity is considerably higher at 703,000 b/d. However, Exxon is currently in the process of exiting West Qurna-1 too. Coupled with its Pirmam exit, this means the firm is exiting Iraq altogether. A spokesperson says “the sale aligns with our strategy to high-grade our portfolio by divesting assets that are not part of our long-term strategy.”

Exxon sought to sell its stake to China’s CNPC and CNOOC last year, but after Iraq blocked the move it has filed for arbitration (MEES, 30 July 2021). The spokesperson says “ExxonMobil entered into an agreement with third parties to sell our working interest in January 2021. Under the terms of our contract, Basra Oil Company, on behalf of the government of Iraq, must approve the sale.” (CONTINUED - 194 WORDS)