Published — Thursday 28 March 2013
Last update 29 March 2013 12:06 am
BAGHDAD: Exxon Mobil is in negotiations to sell 5 percent of its stake in Iraq's West Qurna-1 oilfield to Abu Dhabi's state-run investment fund Mubadala, part of the US major's moves to reduce its exposure there, Iraqi oil officials said.
Exxon has said it plans to sell its stake in the $ 60 billion field after upsetting Iraq's central government by signing deals with the country's autonomous Kurdistan region, agreements which Baghdad rejected as illegal.
The central government had told the US oil company it would have to choose between West Qurna and the Kurdistan oil deals, but Baghdad still offered Exxon sweeter terms in an attempt to keep it working in the southern oilfield.
"Exxon is staying in West Qurna-1 at least until next year, but same time the company is moving ahead to cut its share in the West Qurna project to shift focus to other projects," said one Iraqi oil official.
Two Iraqi oil officials said Exxon's allocation of $1.65 billion to develop the field in 2013 indicated it planned to stay until next year.