By John Lee.
Malaysia's Petronas has said it has shut down production and safely evacuated all of its Malaysian employees from Iraq due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a statement, the company said:
"In view of the COVID-19 pandemic and as a precautionary measure to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our employees, PETRONAS has safely evacuated all 80 of our Malaysian employees from PETRONAS Carigali Iraq Holding B.V. (PCIHBV), located at the Garraf Contract Area, in the Thi Qar Province, Republic of Iraq.
"This is certainly an unfortunate and unforeseeable event that is not within PCIHBV's control. PCIHBV had accordingly issued the necessary notice in accordance with the provisions of the Development and Production Service Contract and engaged with the host authority prior to the suspension of operations and evacuation of our employees.
"Operations at the Garraf Contract Area are now temporarily suspended until further notice.
"We are also closely monitoring the situation."