Iraq’s Oil Minister Ihsan Ismaael this week tackled two key immediate issues facing the country’s oil sector. In 19 June comments Mr Ismael said that the state-owned Basrah Oil Company (BOC) has “taken a Final Investment Decision” on the purchase of ExxonMobil’s 32.7% operating stake at the 470,000 b/d capacity West Qurna-1 (WQ-1) oilfield.

Exxon early last year tried to initiate a sale to Chinese state firms but was blocked by BOC. BOC then last May offered to purchase the stake, but lacking cash it sought “payment in kind” (MEES, 7 May 2021), which was not acceptable to the US giant. Now, with Iraq reaping record high oil export revenues, BOC might well have the capital to buy out Exxon. (CONTINUED - 760 WORDS)