Iraq Eyes Exxon, PetroChina Investment

Iraq Eyes Exxon, PetroChina Investment

Iraq, OPEC's second-largest producer, has approached PetroChina and ExxonMobil about investing in a multibillion-dollar project to boost output from its smaller southern oilfields, a senior Iraqi oil official said. State-run South Oil Company is seeking investment from either or both of the companies to build infrastructure needed to raise output at fields it operates, SOC deputy chairman, Basim Abdul Kareem, told Reuters. "We are seeking both or either one to accept the project," said Abdul Kareem, declining to say how advanced the talks were. Petrochina has shown more interest than Exxon in the project, another SOC official said, declining to be identified. The two companies were approached because they are developing the West Qurna Phase 1 oilfield that needs water injection to halt a decline in production, said the official. Oil sales generate 95% of Iraq's revenue and a price fall to less than $40 per barrel from $115 in mid-2014 has hit hard. "A sharp fall in crude oil prices since mid-2014 has hurt Baghdad's ability to fund oilfield development and foreign investments are needed," he said.


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