The US oil giant ExxonMobil decided to quit a key oilfield in Iraq in early 2024 to focus on investment in African countries, Iraq’s Oil Minister has said.

Hayan Abdel Ghani said Baghdad declined ExxonMobil’s decision and asked the Company to keep operating West Qurna 1 oilfield in South Iraq.

“We informed the Company of our refusal of its decision to withdraw from Iraq…but it insisted on pulling out after it found investment opportunities in Africa,” the Minister told a Baghdad oil conference on Saturday.

In his comments published by the official Iraqi News Agency on Sunday, Abdel Ghani said ExxonMobil was replaced by Petrochina as the lead contractor at Qurna 1.

“The main aim of these companies is to make more profits…that is why they look for profitable opportunities no matter where they are…as for European companies, they have demonstrated a desire to invest in Iraq’s gas fields,” he added.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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