The Chairman of PetroChina has told Reuters that his company is willing to join Exxon Mobil in the 400,000-bpd West Qurna-1 oilfield project.
Jiang Jiemin (pictured) told the news agency:
"We are willing to jointly develop the project with Exxon Mobil. Exxon Mobil welcomed our participation and the Iraqi government also supports us joining the development ... The asset value of the whole project is massive, but near-term capital spending required is not that huge."
He went on to say that the PetroChina, owned by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), would "thoroughly evaluate the project" and make an investment decision at an "appropriate" time.
Exxon is understood to be considering various options to resolve the difficulties caused by the company's activities in Iraqi Kurdistan, which Baghdad regards as illegal, and the Ministry of Oil may be willing to offer better terms. One option for Exxon may to to sell part of its 60 percent stake while remaining as operator.
CNPC made a play for Exxon's full stake in West Qurna-1 at the end of last year, but the U.S. company was not satisfied with the bid, according to industry sources.