Exxon tells Iraq wants to quit West Qurna oilfield: officials


Exxon Mobil has informed Iraq of its intention to sell its share in the West Qurna 1 oilfield, and Baghdad will respond to the decision by next Sunday, Iraqi oil officials said on Wednesday.

The remarks were the first official confirmation that Exxon is looking to quit West Qurna after signing exploration deals instead with autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan in the north, a move worsening tensions with Baghdad's central government.

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"Exxon Mobil sent a letter to the South Oil Company expressing its wish to sell its stake in West Qurna 1 oilfield," Abdul-Mahdy al-Ameedi, director of Iraq's contracts directorate, told reporters.

Baghdad would reply to the letter by Sunday, another oil official said.

Iraq also plans to remove Turkey's state-owned oil company TPAO from its contract for exploration block 9 in the south of the country, al-Ameedi said without giving any reason for the decision. (Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; writing by Patrick Markey)