Oil scene in Iraq and Syria

Oil scene in Iraq and Syria

/ Editor’s Letter / Thursday, 19 December 2019 07:38

For many years, Iraq has been exporting its petroleum mostly to the US and UK companies. Exxon Mobile was among the firsts to pull out, beginning with removing all its expatriate staff from Basra and other Iraqi regions. Despite the circumstances, President Trump insisted that the USA should still have the bigger share of Iraqi and Syrian oil benefits.

However, earlier this year, many of US and UK companies have begun to exit the Iraqi oil market which paved the way for new subcontracts and grabbed the attention of Chinese and Russian companies.

Amid the protests in Baghdad, which coincided with the departure of many foreign diplomats for security reason, Russia has shown interest in Iraq’s oil business and doubled its investments. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has visited Erbil and Baghdad with a team of representatives from Russian oil and gas companies such as Gazprom Neft, Rosneft, Soyuzneftegaz, and Lukoil, in addition to representatives from Technopromexport, a Russian company that builds energy facilities.

Last September, the Basra Oil Company (BOC) signed a contract with a Chinese company to develop and complete 80 oil wells in the giant Majnoon oil field in Iraq southern province of Basra, as per the Iraqi Oil Ministry.

“BOC signed a contract with China's Hilong Oil Service & Engineering Co., Ltd, to prepare and complete 80 oil wells at a cost of 54 million U.S. dollars,” the statement said without giving further details about the oil wells.

Now, many Chinese companies are operating In Iraq, mainly China National Petroleum Corporation, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Dragon oil, and PetroChina.

So, as we see, the scene is changing. New companies are entering the market via direct or sub-contracting deals while western ones are withdrawing from it allegedly to preserve staff safety!

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