In December last year, US oil giant Exxon Mobil offered to sell its 60% stake in the southern Iraq West Qurna-1 oilfield. According to industry sources, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) quickly emerged as the frontrunner to for the majority stake in the project. However, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has stressed the importance of keeping the American major onside, opening up the possibility for co-operation on the $50bn investment project.
CNPC subsidiary, PetroChina, has announced the state-owned company is willing to work with Exxon to develop the field, which is currently pumping in excess of 400,000b/d. PetroChina Chairman, Jiang Jiemin, said both Exxon and the Iraqi government “supports [PetroChina] joining the development”, although it will require time to “thoroughly evaluate the project” before making an investment decision.
Industry sources say CNPC made a bid for the share late last year, which was turned down at the time. The new deal is likely to involve both Exxon and CNPC taking a stake in the project, which is 15% owned by Anglo-Dutch major Shell.
Published 22nd March, 2013
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