Iraq, January 26, 2013
Oil giant wants to purchase 60 % of the Exxon Mobil’s stake for $ 50b, reports say
China National Petroleum Corp., which is the energy giant expresses its interest in expanding its business in Iraq.
US oil company Exxon Mobil wants to sell the stake out in the West Qurna phase -1 oilfield in Iraq, and CNPC unit PetroChina, which is the biggest energy producer of China, is interested in purchasing 60 % for $ 50 billion, according to media.
An official, who declined to be named at CNPC, stated that he did not get any information regarding the contract. While Exxon Mobil denied to make any comment on it on Wednesday (23rd January, 2013).
A worker adjusts a control valve at an oil refinery in Baghdad, Iraq. China is going to be the chief consumer of the Iraqi oil and will continue to invest substantially in Iraqi oil production infrastructure, according to the International Energy Agency.
On the other hand, another industry insider who works at an organization under CNPC told China Daily the company has shown great interest in purchasing stakes in the West Qurna phase 1 since last year. He stated that it is just too sensitive for releasing anything now.
It was said by the insider that since CNPC signed a service contract with Iraq’s Ministry of Petroleum on the growth of the Al-Ahdab oil field in November 2008, the company has accumulated rich experience in Iraq.
As one of the largest oilfields in Iraq, West Qurna phase 1 has reserves of around 10 billion to 15 billion barrels, with a highest daily production of 1 million barrels.
Iraq has got three CNPC oil projects - the Al-Ahdab, Rumaila and Halfya oilfields present with an overall daily production of around 1.6 million barrels, accounting for about half of Iraq’s total daily production.
The oil production of Iraq will surpass 6 million barrels a day in 2020 and rise to more than 8 million barrels a day in the year 2035, according to a report from the International Energy Agency in November.
It also said that China would be the most possible major customer of oil of Iraq, and will keep investing substantially in Iraqi oil production infrastructure.
Fatih Birol, who is the chief economist of the agency, estimated that half of the total oil production of Iraq will go to China in the end.
However, a Chinese expert believed and so expressed that investing in Iraq oil industry still carries high risks because of the political situation Iraq is going through at present.
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