The Russian oil company Lukoil and its British counterpart BP want to withdraw from Iraq. According to the Iraqi Oil Minister, the concerns are trying to sell assets in the country.
Ehsan Abdul-Jabbar said that Lukoil sent him a letter indicating the company’s intention to transfer its assets in the country to Chinese companies. Then there is the Russian interest in the West Qurna-2 field. BP, in turn, would like to withdraw from the giant Rumaila field.
According to the minister, the current investment climate in Iraq is not suitable for holding large companies. Jabbar, who appeared before a parliamentary committee last week, said the US company ExxonMobil wants to sell its stake in West Qurna-1.
Iraq pumps about 4 million barrels of crude oil per day. This is more than any other member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) with the exception of Saudi Arabia. However, international energy companies have been deterred in recent years by strict contractual terms, payment arrears and political instability in the country.
Several protests have erupted over the past week due to power outages. This led to the resignation of the Iraqi Minister of Electricity. The government stated that oil production was not affected by electricity grid problems.
BP and Lukoil were not available for comment.
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