Iraq Sees Steady Oil Prices and Considers Buying Exxon Stake
By Khalid Al Ansary
and Kadhim Ajrash
May 3, 2021, 5:45 AM EDT Updated on May 3, 2021, 7:03 AM EDT
Crude will probably stay at $65 in coming months: oil minister
OPEC will continue keeping oil prices ‘within normal averages’
The sun sets over an oil refinery in the southern Iraqi town of Nasiriyah, Iraq.
Photographer: Assad Al-Niyazi/AFP/Getty Images
Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer, said crude prices would probably remain around $65 a barrel in the coming months and announced it’s considering buying Exxon Mobil Corp.’s stake in one of the world’s biggest fields.
Baghdad may end up buying Exxon’s 32.7% stake in the West Qurna-1 oil field in southern Iraq, the minister said.
If so, the Iraqi government would probably purchase it through state-owned Basra Oil Co., he said.
West Qurna-1 used to be considered one of the oil industry’s glittering prizes, with Exxon becoming lead contractor in 2010.
But tough contractual terms, payment delays, OPEC production cuts and political instability have reduced its appeal in recent years.