BAGHDAD - Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is seeking to withdraw from Iraq's Majnoon oilfield and the oil ministry has started preparations to finalise its exit, according to an oil ministry letter and oil officials.
A letter signed by Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi and dated August 23 and directed to Shell Iraq Petroleum Development gave approval for Shell to quit Majnoon.
"We respect your desire and decision to seek an acceptable end of Shell Iraq Petroleum Development SIPD's interest in Majnoon," the oil ministry letter said, a copy of which was seen by Reuters. SIPD is Shell's local unit.
Three Iraqi oil officials and an Iraqi senior engineer working with Shell in Majnoon confirmed the letter's authenticity.
A Shell spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
In November, industry sources had told Reuters Shell was considering selling out of its oil fields in Iraq as part of its global $30 billion asset disposal programme.
(Reporting by Aref Mohammed and Ahmed Rasheed; editing by Diane Craft) ((Ulf.Laessing@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: follow me on twitter @ulflaessing))