A senior official of oil ministry said that if Lukoil of Russia and CNPC of China decided to purchase stake of Exxon Mobil in the giant oilfield of West Qurna-1, Iraq would favor bids by them. The position of China or Russia in exploiting the world's fourth greatest oil reserves of Iraq would be significantly stronger by a sale of the stake to either firm.
The official told Reuters at the time of two different meetings with Lukoil and CNPC executives, it has been informed by Iraq that that it favors the companies offer to buy the share of Exxon in the oilfield of West Qurna-1. Baghdad informed that it had gained positive signs from both of the firms that they will try to make a $50 billion project offer.
Exxon irritated Baghdad last year being agreed with deals of Kurdistan regional government (KRG). Baghdad declined agreements approved by the KRG as not legal and informed Exxon that it had to select between operating in Kurdistan or southern Iraq. The United States oil major decided to stick with more lucrative contracts of Kurdistan.
On situation of anonymity, the official told that they had gained positive signs from both Lukoil and CNPC. That means they would consider buying stake of Exxon in West Qurna-1. Additionally he told that Iraq has belief in the fact that as an alternative of Exxon Mobil both firms have sufficient technology and economical resources to control the super-giant oilfield.
Data Room Uncovered
Two sources informed that then Exxon had initiated a data room for the purpose of West Qurna-1. The second greatest crude generator of Russia, Lukoil is already improving West Qurna-2. Previously Lukoil had told that West Qurna-1 was so big that it could not be swallowed. However, last week informed it was inquiring into the choice. There has a speculation that it could link up with another firm, may be CNPC, to improve the oilfield.
A Lukoil spokesman made confirm that the firm had gained an offer to improve West Qurna 1. According to him they were studying that. He declined to say anything whether it was a joint venture or not. Lukoil is willing to compensate a production rejection at its Russia fields. There it competed with state-backed companies. The firm is in action in the Central, Middle East Asia, Latin America and West Africa.
Two sources of CNPC informed that the firm was conscious about the plan of Exxon to pull out of the project of West Qurna 1. But did not want to deny or confirm reports it was considering of moving into the oilfield. They said, generally CNPC has interest in making larger its works in Iraq. Additionally they informed that they are not interested in any Kurdish region projects. A state occupied China National Petroleum Corp. spokesman declined to say anything about its plans.
Earlier in this week, Hussein al-Shahristani, the deputy prime minister of Iraq for energy, informed that in advanced the Iraq government had contract with possible buyers with West Qurna. He also informed that enough perfect buyers were available there.