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China eyes Exxon-owned oil fields in Iraq

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Chinese state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) are interested in ExxonMobil’s operating stake in the West Qurna 1 oil fields in Iraq. West Qurna 1 is one of the largest oil fields in Iraq.

Exxon owns a 32.7 percent stake in the Exxon oil field and it could be worth $500 million. However, it is currently uncertain whether a deal is in place or not. Also, geopolitical factors could lead to a no-deal situation in this regard. Previously, Exxon sold 25 percent of its stake in the oil field to PetroChina and 10 percent to Pertamina.

Iraq exported an average of 2.876 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in October, up by more than 200,000 bpd from September, according to its oil ministry. This has helped the country to increase its oil revenue. Iraq’s economy heavily depends on oil revenue and the current oil crisis did take a toll on the country’s financial status.

Last month, it was reported that Iraq would be among one of three countries  that would oppose a proposal by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Russia to roll over the 7.7-million barrels per day production cuts, instead of relaxing them by 2 million barrels per day from January, in light of the current oil price crisis.

Earlier this year, it was reported that China is planning to increase its production of oil and gas in 2020 by 1 percent, which equals to 3.85 million barrels per day. The country will also reduce the share of coal in its primary energy mix to 57.5 percent from 57.7 percent the previous year.

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