By John Lee.
Exxon Mobil has informed the Iraqi government that it wants to pull out of the $50-billion West Qurna-1 oilfield project, according to a report from Reuters.
Abdul Mahdi Al Ameedi, director of the oil ministry’s Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD), said:
"Exxon has stated in its letter that it has started discussions with some international oil companies to sell its stake."
Another oil official said that Baghdad plans to reply to the letter from Exxon by Sunday, but it was unclear who would replace Exxon at the 400,000-bpd oilfield, which it works with minority partner Shell.
Some sources have suggested that Baghdad wants to replace Exxon with companies from Russia or China; Russia's LUKoil and Gazprom Neft are already working in Iraq, and LUKoil, which already runs a project to develop West Qurna-2, has said that it lacks the resources to take on a project like West Qurna-1 for the moment.
Earlier today, LUKoil signed the contract for the exploration of Block 10.
Poor Iraqis! Before they had "hitler" Saddam, now they have got the duo "ayatollah" Maliki & and "lenin" Shahristani.
I wonder: How many oil companies in the world have 50 billion dollars over and are willing to invest in southern Iraq for poor performance? Not just 50 billion but also the latest and state of the art technology to extract oil in the best possible way.
Lenin Shahristani message to you is: you may invest but you should not book up any reserves, your employees may not visas, and we have not had time to build a network infrastructure that will enable you to live up to the high delivery requirements we impose on you. Thank you and god luck!
[...] Kurdistan have also placed the region on the global map, enticing at least one western oil giant, ExxonMobil, to abandon its wells in the south and begin exploration in the Kurdish north. The impact of oil on [...]